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Listening vs. Hearing

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“The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention.” —Rachel Naomi Remen

Some definitions…


  1. the faculty or sense by which sound is perceived.
  2. the act of perceiving sound.


  1. to give attention with the ear; attend closely for the purpose of hearing; give ear.
  2. to pay attention; heed

As you can see the definitions are very different. Hearing refers to sounds, whereas listening is more: it requires focus and attention. How many times have people said to you “I hear you”; they heard the words… That does not mean they understood the words.

Listening is not as easy as it sounds; it takes talent. Listening means paying attention not only to the story, but also how it is told, the use of language and voice, and how the other person uses his or her body language, it means being aware of both verbal and non-verbal messages.

“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.” —Bernard M. Baruch

Here’s some additional information on listening like a pro.

Have a great weekend.


About Friday Food for Thought (FFfT)

I frequently attend conferences and retreats on entrepreneurship and leadership and while I am away, the J2 team picks up the slack, allowing me to learn to be better at what I do. I wanted to share what I was learning with my team, so I created the weekly FFfT emails in November of 2015 and have been writing them ever since.

Before long, the J2 staff began sharing the FFfT emails with their friends and family and now other leaders have asked to be included, which led to the creation of this newsletter. I hope you enjoy!