One of the biggest mistakes we may make as we interact with people is engaging them from a perspective that we are normal, but they are not.
If don’t listen to you and discern who you are and how you think before I try to share something important with you, I am likely to speak my wondrous truth in a language that you don’t speak. Examples of mismatches are: if you are female and I am male, or vice versa; if you are young, and I am old; if you are republican and I am democrat.
Other worldview differences prevent us from properly communicating. If you are under the influence of a mindset that is based on the reality of karma, which would make you believe that the forces of nature are all aligned to produce justice, and your evil behavior will always reap judgement in the form of something that looks like bad luck unless you quickly do enough good works, it will be difficult for me to leap into Campus Crusade’s Four Spiritual Laws and prove that Yahweh thinks you are a sinner at a level your good works cannot redeem, for example.
Listening to others with the intent of learning is much more difficult than listening to them with the intent of responding. We are rarely listening to learn. We are usually holding our breath when others are talking, waiting to interrupt and correct them when they inhale.
What we can learn by listening to them includes how they think, how they process new information, and what they need or want. Knowing these things can help us become blessings to them faster than impressing them with our knowledge of Yahweh’s thoughts about their spiritual condition.
Some people call this process building a relationship.