The results of fully listening are profound and couldn’t be more relevant today in times of immense distractions and a world constantly in a rush: Others feel accepted.

They feel heard. They take their own words more seriously. By thinking out loud, they are discovering their own words and, by that, their own true selves.

~ Klaus Motoki Tonn from,


This article touches on a number of different things which are interesting about conversation. I was surprised to realize that despite its having several great quotes from famous authors, this bit from Tonn was the part I kept returning to. It’s just deposited quietly in the middle of the whole thing which made it all the more delightful to discover; if I’d only skimmed I’d surely have missed it.

Let’s be fair: In today’s world, no one actually listens and every thing is intentionally distracting as it clamors for our attention. That makes what should be the “simple” act of listening into something profound. I’ve encountered the effect Tonn’s highlighting many times. The more I listen, the more each guest seems to be on a journey of self-discovery. The more I implicitly promise not to interrupt them, the more confident becomes their self-exploration. And it’s made all the more special by their not expecting it.