Listening.

The oldest, yet most underused tool in the human toolbox. People think they are great listeners, but most just nod their heads in agreement/disagreement and wait their turn to talk. 

Have you ever had a heated discussion with someone and right after you finish making your point the other person, in less than a millisecond, already has a response for you?

They weren't listening to you.

There is no way this person took in your message, processed it, and formulated a thoughtful response in a millisecond. 

As a matter of fact, this person made up their mind about your argument half way through your message. They are arguing your point based on 50% of the information you just gave them. It's the reason we have issues with conflict today; we are too eager to give our points of view without fully understanding what they other person is arguing. To make this even more frustrating, you think the person just isn't smart enough to understand where you are coming from which creates even more conflict, which then turns into a more emotional debate, without the logic.

It's frustrating. 

So next time you are debating a good argument and your "opponent" is done speaking take a breath, process the message, formulate your thoughts, then respond. 

You would be surprised how much you could accomplish. 

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