Ordinary listeners only listen until they have an opinion about what they are hearing or until they validate what they already know. Great listeners listen until they learn something they did not know before.
(I wrote this down many, many moons ago and lost the attribution. If someone knows where this comes from, I’d very much appreciate knowing the source.)
It’s one of those seminal thoughts that gets to the simple side of complexity. I’ve found I don’t have to think much about active listening or appreciative inquiry if I simply try to learn something from a conversation, online or in person. For me, this has crossed time, technology, my career path, and my personal growth. It’s applied to virtual and physical networking. It’s served me when managing people and when being managed.