Sometimes you listen because you want to know. Sometimes you listen because you care.
It might seem like a minor distinction, but the questions, the attitude, the subjects are very different whether it’s one form of listening or the other.
When you listen because you want to know, your questions are direct and closed. You look for easy answers, answers you can process and understand instantly. It’s usually about trivial topics, and the act of listening is in fact a way to reassure yourself that everything is as it should be.
When you listen because you care, your questions are wide and open. You are not even looking for answers. If they come, they will probably impact the person giving them much more than they impact you. It’s usually about deep change, and the act of listening is a way to unlock new potential.