When people talk about personal development they often say they want to improve things like self-confidence, communication skills or how to set goals efficiently. But what is often overlooked is being able to listen to others, empathic listening; listening to truly understand.

When we see things only from our perspective we miss a lot of detail. We may only see 50 or 30 percent, maybe less, of what is going on. But most of us think and act like we know it for the full 100 percent. The truth is that we only know it for 50 percent and the rest of it we make up in our minds; we fill in the blanks with assumptions.

Have you ever tried not to pass judgement on something or someone? Not passing judgement seems a very noble, often spiritual, goal but from my own experience I can tell you that it’s very difficult. It’s in our human nature to form an opinion, and judge, on almost everything. It’s a catch 22: Either we judge, and feel bad about it, or we desperately try not to judge and feel trapped as we cannot express our feelings.

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