Look in the dictionary, almost every word has between three and five meanings. If you aren’t asking questions of yourself and your interlocutor at every step of the way through a conversation, you will come away thinking you’ve understood them, when in fact you haven’t. It’s the nature of human intellect to find meaning even in word salad. When we listen passively, we think we understand only because we’re hearing the echo of our assumptions. If you want to learn to use listening as a problem solving tool, check out Focusing.org. Not only can you learn to listen to words, you can learn to listen to the inner being of another person. This is about a lot more than just leadership.