Most people do not listen with the intent to understand. Most people listen with the intent to reply. (Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
Did your mother ever ask, “Didn’t you hear what I just said”? The correct answer probably is that yes, you heard, but you weren’t really listening. There is an art to listening. Covey is right on; in conversations, we are usually thinking about what we’re going to say next, rather than concentrating on what is being said. Many of us need to develop good listening habits.