“You’re not listening to me!” It’s an accusation we’ve all been guilty of making and, unfortunately, one we’ve probably all been the recipient of, too. And while it can be difficult to let the feelings of exasperation go, it’s easy to pinpoint their cause: when someone doesn’t listen to us, we don’t feel appreciated.

We’ve all heard that listening – to pay attention to someone or something – is vastly different than hearing – to be aware of a sound. So, why is it so vital to distinguish between the two? Here are just three reasons that explain why listening is more than simply hearing:

  1. Listening Promotes Inclusion

Ben, Joseph, and Zach Featherstone are three brothers that were all born deaf. And although they certainly face their fair share of challenges – like occasionally feeling isolated from their community – they insist that they are grateful to be deaf, because it allows them to listen with their eyes, hearts, and minds and, consequently, connect better to those around them. “If one person will communicate and connect (with me),” says Zack, “it helps me feel included and it’s wonderful.”

  1. Listening Leads to Understanding

Julian Treasure, author and sound consultant, defines listening as, “making meaning from sound,” stating that, “it’s a mental process and it’s a process of extraction.” And while we can simply choose to hear those around us, when we participate in active listening, we see powerful results. Rather than having a quick chat and getting on with our day, we’ve learned something new. “Listening is our access to understanding,” Treasure says. “(And) conscious listening always creates understanding.”

  1. Listening Inspires Creativity

Bernard Ferrari, Dean of the Carey Business School of John Hopkins University and author of Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All, cites listening as the key contributor of imagination. While many people focus on how to present themselves and their ideas, Ferrari believes that a more effective approach is learning how to listen to others’ views. Not only is this a solid business practice, but he states that, “good listening is the key to developing fresh insights and ideas that fuel success.”

While it’s true that listening is a different act than hearing, the two also have contrasting consequences. At Ken Garff Automotive Group, we hear our customers, but we don’t stop there. We pay attention to them and leverage our unique listening abilities to provide unparalleled solutions in an inclusive and understanding environment.

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