Have you ever found yourself in a business meeting and when you try to recall the content of the meeting you were unable to do so even though you heard the discussion? It is possible that the reason why you were unable to completely recall the content is that you did not listen despite you hearing everything that the people in the meeting were discussing.
You see, hearing and listening may seem similar to one another but the truth is, they are different. Hearing is something that your ears naturally do but it does not mean that it is actively processing the sound it hears as efficiently as compared to when you actually listen to what is being said. Listening on the other hand is defined as an active process by which a person makes sense o respond to what is being heard.
- Miss Important Details: Simple hearing can cause you to miss important details that can help you assess the subject that is being discussed. You may hear what the speaker is saying but chances are, you are unable to understand the gist of what is being discussed. And if you are going to take an exam based on what was discussed, you might find yourself not able to perfectly answer the test questions.
- Misunderstand Message: You may hear what a public figure or celebrity is saying but if you are not actively listening then you might end up misinterpreting their message and at worse, negatively misinterpret it and end up sharing the wrong message with other people. Imagine telling people what those celebrities said the way you understood it because you did not listen carefully and end up discovering that you completely misinterpreted the point of the message.
- Miss Subtle Messages: On the other hand, simply hearing what is being said to you can only get you as far. Try imagining a situation where the speaker is talking about a specific subject and is using innuendos to get his point across to a specific audience. Or he is trying to send a subtle message to a specific audience that he or she wants to act towards something.
- Reduced Learning Opportunity: If you want to become better when it comes to articulating and expressing your thoughts then it is important that you do not settle to simply hearing what your superiors say. Actively listening to the right people and mentally processing what they are saying will help you become a better speaker while limiting yourself to hearing keeps you from noticing the tone used by speakers, their pacing and the way they express their ideas.