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“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with an intent to respond.” ~Stephen Covey

Whether personal or professional, misunderstanding in communication is the number one reason relationships deteriorate.

Developing an ability to step back from our own ingrained perspectives when attempting to unwind a misunderstanding is about the only way I know to gain an appreciation of the other’s perspective.

To hear with “new ears.”

Usually, when two people try to resolve a misunderstanding, they are attempting to reinforce their original position, to help the other person see why they’re wrong, and you’re right.

How many times have you entered a discussion only to find it devolves into an argument?

I heard it once described thusly: “An argument is about finding out who is right; a discussion is about finding out what is right.”

Two different motivations, two different ways to listen.

Next time you want to clear up a misunderstanding, maybe think about adopting the latter.

It’s difficult to resolve anything old or learn anything new with closed ears.

And if you truly want to resolve any misunderstanding, you must first listen to learn.

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