Check for understanding

The other day I came across Simon Sinek’s quote on listening – “There is a difference between listening and waiting for your turn to speak”.

What I love most about it is how true it is. I’ve certainly found myself doing this at times and it takes a conscious effort to listen well and not be distracted by your own thoughts.

I suppose one of the best things we can do is check for understanding. If you think about all the time you spend in meetings and conversations trying to convey important information only to discover that someone on the team misinterpreted what you meant or what your expectations were.

This is common and sometimes we don’t take the extra step of checking to ensure that what was said was understood. It’s not whether it was agreed with – that’s a separate topic to write about. It’s to ensure that there is an understanding of what was communicated.


Next time you’re in a meeting, pause to check for understanding on what was said, even if you weren’t the one saying it.

Related content