Do you know how to listen? I think I do. I put down my preconceptions about what is right or fair, and I open up to another person’s point of view. I listen not only to their words, but their context. I repeat what I hear to make sure that I’m getting it. It’s a skill, and as an EA, its darn useful.
Not everyone knows how or when to listen. Sometimes I forget to listen, too. It is the most unpleasent experience when I am called upon to observe but have forgotten to listen, because I cannot. I must either check out and ignore the conversation, or butt in and dominate it. I have done this at times, and it is frustrating for me, and for everyone else in the room. I look back on the times when I could not listen and I am not proud of them.
How do I know when I am not listening? Honestly? It’s when I am talking.