Listening impacts how we relate to the natural world and especially with regard to social interactions. Hearing really is about receiving sound via the years, which for most of us is done pretty much without much consideration or concentration. People spend most of their time hearing and not actually listening. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can become a bad habit, especially, if those missed opportunities to listen and to mentally process the information presented to us deprives us of opportunities to succeed in life or lease to avoid some unwanted outcomes.
Listening is a more intermittent process and requires the listener to not only receive sounds but to recognize them as having some meaning, to mentally process that information, and ultimately to act on the information.
People frequently hear but far less frequently listen. The active processes and listening of recognizing the value of the sounds we hear, the significance of the circumstances in which they find themselves, and that some form of action or response is required occurs less often than it should.
The Key component which distinguishes hearing from listening is that listening requires mental processing and appropriate action. There is an old adage that “information is power quotes”, this is only true in the case of hearing, if we do more than hear, and take the next step to listen whereby we use the information that we gathered from hearing and apply mental processes to determine what is meaningful, valuable, and requires action either immediate or more strategic and long term.