If we want to understand before we are understood, we must deploy what John Steinbeck referred to as "a good ear." A good ear is one that hears below the surface. Every text has a subtext, and it is usually the subliminal messages that have the most power and truth. It is a rule of human nature that we often say what we do not mean. We use words that are not true to how we feel. We distort and hide and obfuscate, usually because we fear presenting the real us and being rejected for it. Given this, if we want to be deep listeners we must listen between the lines to the silences, the emotions, the doubts, the deep-seated beliefs that influence a person's life, choices and self-image. We listen for the untold story.
-Adam S. McHugh, The Listening Life