From Inc – lovely article on listening
Respond, don’t react. I love this mantra and keep it top of mind, especially when I know I’m about to hear bad news or something that could upset me. It’s perfectly normal to want to spout out the first thing that hits your mind, but in most cases you’re better off to take a second to digest the content of what you’ve just heard.
“Listening is being able to be changed by the other person.” –Alan Alda
Sometimes this means saying, “I heard you but I need time to think about my response”. That’s cool, as long as you don’t let too much time-lapse. Or, respond in the moment and then come back if after further thought you have additional comments to add. Both actions show the person 1) you heard them 2) you wanted to be thoughtful in your reply and 3) you take what was said seriously.