I often hear people say “I hear what you are saying”. Looking at the writen definitions for listening, show that’s not enough. We all have an inner dialog that goes faster than the spead of the sound coming out of most people. Story telling has served a great purpose to convey cultural events. In basic communication we often use the Telephone Game that enphasises how the original message gets changed with little effort. I hear what you are saying was just a condecending put down, ignoring the facts that were being said.
When we use the monitoring term we reference to the hall monitor and what turns out to be Big Brother watching our every move. You may recollect a Saturnday Night skit when two elder, ladies take note of every detail with pencil and paper of every move their neighbor did across the street. In neighborhood block clubs they say a noucy neighbor it’s a good neighbord because they know when some one does not belong in the block, based on parterns of the people that live there.
In order to engage our customers we need to ask relevant questions and follow up with questions to clarify their position. We can also make an educated guess if we have the information that we can analyse. That information can only be gather by being vigilant, observant and lots of money to gather, store and analyse the information by comparing it or match it to the product or service we are trying to provide. The http://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/ActiveListening.htm article puts listening in a good perspective and gives sound advise