Thursday, March 23, 2017

"Listening Is A Gift"

The cacophony of our culture makes it hard to listen. Hearing is a faculty but listening is a gift of God. When someone is in conversation with me, I really have to focus on them and what they are saying.

I have resolved to be a better listener. In truth, I know I am a better talker than listener. Five thousand words in a day is normal for me. So, here are six things I am trying to do to be a better listener.
  1. Focus on the person with whom I am conversing and not just their opinions.
  2. I try to be attentive to reading the other person’s verbal and non-verbal communication. I deliberately avoid looking around, sighing or checking my phone.
  3. Before responding, I make myself wait until the other person is finished speaking. In that way, I put my analysis and judgement on hold. There will be a moment when my response is welcome.
  4. Can I hold the impulse to interrupt?
  5. Hopefully, I am really listening to what is said instead of mentally preparing clever comebacks.
  6. The most helpful insight I have gained is that when the other person is finished talking, I make an attempt to summarize their insight, argument or position.
O Lord, let me be a better listener to others and to you.  Amen.

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