We listen to reply."
verb: understand; 3rd person present: understands; past tense: understood; past participle: understood; gerund or present participle: understanding
perceive the intended meaning of (words, a language, or a speaker).
interpret or view (something) in a particular way
be sympathetically or knowledgeably aware of the character or nature of.
Yes we lead busy lives and our attention is often caught up with a multitude of things that need our attention NOW. We have as a result become speed or skim listeners learning to do what we have with reading with our interactions in conversations with others. We are impatient to move on to the next item on our agenda and so either rush the person by completing their sentences or tune out while our mind thinks about what is next.
We need to stop that. It isn't a particularly mindful practise. I know this is hard and it is something I fail at on a regular basis. Practise is what it will take.
We don't always know what the intention of the person is that is speaking to us. Perhaps there is an important message which they need to get across but don't know how to. When we are distracted we do not hear what they are saying and in doing so we not only miss their words but also the inflections in their voices or the subtle cues in their body language. We all know what it feels like when the person we are speaking to is not engaged. You can sense it and it is hurtful.
Life is already such a rush from one task to the next. The least we can do is work on being present for the conversations we engage in and try to not miss important messages. We disrespect not only the person speaking to us, but also ourselves, by not listening to understand. Even surprisingly on occasion a response could also not be needed. Just a listening ear and person tuned in to what is being said is what the moment called for.
Be that person who stops and listens as often as you can.
The next time somebody approaches you to talk, stop what you are doing (obviously if you can!). Turn your body, and in particular your face, towards the person and make eye contact letting them know that you are acknowledging them. Still your hands and just listen. Let them finish their speaking without interruption. It won't always be possible to do this and I understand that. If you sense that the conversation is important but you cannot engage in that moment then say so and ask if this can wait just until you can finish what you are doing. There are always to deal with any scenario.
However you choose to go about it the best lesson will always be the one you received when your need to be heard and understood was ignored. In the words of Gandhi - "Be the change you want to see in the world." Listen to understand.