If you want to increase your effectiveness with others, you need to develop a “listening attitude.” In fact, your listening attitude is more important than anything you say in response to someone. Your attitude of respect and understanding is more important than your ability to formulate brilliant responses, as the following slightly abridged thought by Ralph Roughton, M.D., illustrates:
When I ask you to listen to me, and you start giving me advice, you have not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me, and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me, and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me—strange as that may seem.
Listen! All I asked was that you listen—not talk or do—just hear me.
When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy.
So please listen and just hear me. And if you want to talk, wait a minute, and then I’ll listen to you.