responding or understanding

We all notice the difference when someone listens to us in order to understand or in order to respond. Many are internally subconsciously driven to deliver a competent image of themselves, or simply to take the opportunity to stress the significance of themselves. This tempts us to provide rather to give answers than to ask questions or just to really listen.

How would you describe the difference from your experience?
When do you listen in order to understand? When do you listen in order to answer?
Suppose your reputation with respect to competence and significance is warranted how would that change your listening behavior?