Listening is not the same as Hearing (L ≠ H)

Hearing is a physical process of taking in sound and unless you are hearing impaired, hearing is in relative terms an easy process. Listening is more difficult; it is a cognitive process requiring ‘brain’ work!

The distinction is a very useful one to keep in mind the next time you assume that someone has willfully chosen to misunderstand what you have told them. There is every likelihood that they may have ‘heard’ but failed to ‘listen’ i.e. comprehend what you were saying!

Some years ago we had the pleasure of having a person attend one of our workshops who has been, since birth, deaf. In terms of her comprehension skill she is one of the best listeners we have ever met. The point is this, being able to hear does not mean that you are necessarily a good listener and not being able to hear at all is not necessarily an impediment to listening. They are different processes!