“The biggest communication problem is that we do not listen to understand - we listen to reply."
Do you have the answer before the speaker is done?
Has your attention already wandered?
Do you wonder why the conversation seems disjointed?
A friend of mine posted this quote without attribution. A brief search suggested that Stephen Covey had a similar quote in his book "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". Whatever the source, this certainly applies to Quality Assurance and Software Testing. The number one Skill for Software Testers is Verbal Communication (according to survey) yet many projects founder on a failure to communicate. As the quote says, we listen to formulate a reply to what is being said rather than trying to understand what is being conveyed. People do not listen throughout the project and then have to redo the work that could have been done only once rather than done incorrectly and then redone as a result. Next time you're in the middle of the conversation, think of how you're listening.
Listening to UNDERSTAND and not simply to reply saves a lot of aggravation and rework.