Hearing and listening are often used together, because most people think they are same.
But, there is huge difference between hearing and listening.
Hearing and listening might sound similar words, but there’s something you should know.
Hearing is a natural sense that allows you to detect sound.
Whereas, listening is when you make the effort to pay attention to that sound or someone’s words.
Someone rightly said, “Hearing is through ears, but listening is though the mind.”
Both hearing and listening involves ears but that too in a different ways.
So, here in this article, we have jotted down some of the difference between hearing and listening and some ways to become a good listener.
Difference between Hearing and Listening
Hearing is Continuous whereas Listening is Temporary
One of the significant difference between hearing and listening is that hearing is continuous whereas, listening isn’t.
It’s impossible to listen and focus to everything that’s going on around you all day long.
Though you hear the sound continuously, if that sound isn’t your concern, you will try to avoid listening to it.
However, hearing is a natural act that is impossible to avoid like listening, even when you’re not aware of it.
Hearing is Involuntary whereas Listening is Voluntary
Like I already said, hearing is a natural act that cannot be avoided. So, no matter how much you ignore it, you will hear sounds.
In other words, hearing is an involuntary act that detects any noise or vibrations in your environment, while listening is a voluntary act that requires self-awareness and mindfulness.
For example, you can hear your colleagues gossiping about other staffs in the office next to you.
You are actually hearing her sound but since that doesn’t concern you, you avoid the gossip and do your work.
But, if the same colleagues are talking about you, you voluntary try to listen to them.
And, that’s one of the biggest difference between hearing and listening.
Hearing is Passive whereas Listening is Active
Another difference between hearing and listening in communication is that listening is active process whereas hearing is passive.
Hearing is a passive action that occurs naturally, even when you are asleep.
Whereas, listening is an active action that involves presence of mind.
For example, you are attending a lecture class and you feel sleepy.
Even when you are mild asleep, you faintly know that the lecturer is talking, that’s hearing.
But, when the lecture is so important that you start to take notes, that’s listening.
Benefits of Listening
Help you to become a Better Student
When you stop only hearing and start listening to all the lectures and materials presented in the classroom, you will be able to solve every problem with regards to the subject matter.
You will also be able to identify not only the words used in the lectures but their weight and their complexity as well.
When you start active listening, you will take better notes, and you will more accurately remember the instructions given in the lectures.
Eventually, you will become a better student by performing well in your class as well as exams.
Helps you to become a Better Friend
You might have noticed, there are lots of friends who just pretend to be your friend.
When you have conversations, they start hearing you rather than active listening to what you actually said.
So, if you don’t want to fall into that category and want to become a better friend, start listening.
When you give your best attention to people expressing thoughts and expressions that are important to them, they will eventually start liking you.
They will feel more cared and will probably share their entire feelings with you.
People Will Perceive you as Intelligent
When you stop only hearing and start listening to others, you revel yourself as being curious and interested in people and events.
People will perceive you as one of the most knowledgeable person in the entire mass.
For instant, someone is presenting something in front of the mass and everyone is yawning except you who is actively listening.
That person will take you as one of the smartest person among all and start respecting you as well.
In addition, your ability to understand the meanings of what you hear will make you more intelligent.
Helps you in Public Speaking
When you stop only hearing and start active listening as well, you start to pick up more to how people speak, how they argue, and present their information.
As a result, you will be able to analyze what you think works and what doesn’t in the mass.
This will help you transform the way you speak in front of you colleagues or in front of the public.
For example, listening to the way people use tone of voice while giving speech will give you ideas about how to more effectively use the tone of your voice.
Tips to become a Good Listener
Take notes while you listen
The biggest difference between hearing and listening is that you don’t actually keep things on mind for long time while hearing.
And to be honest, no one can remember everything all the time.
So, to become a good listener, start using paper and pen actively.
Write down key words as people talk- for example, name, what they need, and any follow-up items.
Always jot everything down neatly on a sheet of paper, don’t write a thesis about it.
Keep an Open Mind
Like I already said, the one of the huge difference between hearing and listening in communication is that one is passive and one is active.
And, to become a great listener, you need to have active mind.
By being conscious and listening to others conversation, you will hear them out completely.
Try not to let personal impression modify what you listen.
Your mind processes information much faster than the normal rate of speech.
That’s because your mind half-listens to the information and does other things too.
To become a good listener, your mind needs to be disciplined to pay full attention and to listen closely.
Even when you try listen closely, things can distract you.
So, concentrating is the only idea you can use to become a good listener.