I once had a friend who responded to almost everything said to him with a one word reply – “Understood!” It was his way of assuring the talker that he had listened and processed what was said. I sometimes wondered if he really understood or if he was just in the habit of giving that response. Then I came across a quote from Stephen Covey, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Ouch! As one who has made a living by speaking (preaching/teaching/advising/consulting/etc.), I plead guilty. In fact I have lately caught myself replying with what I thought was a better story, a stronger point, a funnier joke. Many years ago, I memorized a verse that I need to refresh in my thought process. “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak” (James 1:19). It was Epictetus, an ancient Greek sage and Stoic philosopher who said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Understood!