Are you listening?
Posted: Tuesday, July 4
2 Kings 23:31-25:30
Verse of the day:
“Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.” (Proverbs 18:13 NLT)
It is so easy to act like you are listening when in reality you are only planning what to say next. How many times I’ve jumped to a wrong conclusion by starting to answer before I could finish hearing what they were saying!
Several years ago, I was arriving to my office in Springfield, Missouri and I asked one of my coworkers: “How are you?” She proceeded to tell me that a family member was involved in a tragic accident over the weekend and that she was not feeling well at all. Guess what was my response? “Good!”
I was not actively listening and gave a foolish answer. You see, often it is the last word in a conversation that makes you realize that the person was not saying what you thought.
When you actively listen you are honoring and respecting the person speaking to you. You show him or her that their words really matter.
While at work, active listening means stronger relationships with coworkers and clients, fewer errors, and less wasted time. It allows you to build friendships. In your family life, active listening helps you grow closer to your spouse and children.
Since active listening is so important, allow me to share 7 tips on how to put it into practice.
Face the person and maintain eye contact.
Avoid unnecessary distractions (Choose a quiet place; turn off your cell phone or other electronics).
Pay attention to the nonverbal cues.
Listen without judging or mentally criticizing the other person.
Don't interrupt and don't impose your "opinion."
Wait for the person to pause to ask clarifying questions.
Show that you understand by summarizing what you hear the person saying.