Listening means being empty of self-importance and reacting to what we hear with empathy. It is an art and a skill, just as much as speaking is. It requires really being with the other person. Just listening with total attention to what is being said, without making up our own story about it, without our mental chatter, is part of compassion. It is also loving-kindness. Unless there is loving-kindness in our speech, it's going to come out wrong.

Ayya Khema, Be an Island