Have you ever been in a conversation with someone
and not actually listened to what they were saying
because you were too busy assembling your response?
Have you ever found yourself mindlessly saying
“Uh huh” when someone was trying to tell you something?
Many people do suffer from ADD; however, we live in a culture
where attention deficit disorder has become the norm for some.
We've all experienced how frustrating it can be to have
someone not listen to our thoughts, acknowledge our pain,
or just consider our perspective and let us know they care.
Many people treat conversations like a competition, seeking to
control the conversation to determine who can make the deepest,
brightest, wisest, most intellectual points or wield, allegedly, the
most superior information.
Finishing sentences for others and interrupting sends the
message that what you have to express is more important than
what they have to say, which can diminish the speaker's confidence
Allowing the other to finish their thought before forming
a response is critical to excellent listening.
If you need to move the conversation forward,
say something like,
"Excuse me, I'm very sorry for interrupting,
but..." Similarly, avoid jumping to conclusions or assuming you
know what hasn't yet been mentioned.
Trying to persuade others without fully listening to their point
of view might often cut our blessings short. Who knows, one
might learn something that changes their perspective... even
Some people will lose out on a plethora of data because
they are preoccupied with how to reply to or interrupt
the speaker. This type of conversation is highly
problematic! It has tremendous pitfalls!
Two of the most difficult lessons in life are to listen closely...
and to bend low the ear of the heart.
The Scriptures teaches us to...
be ready to listen, and slow to speak.
One of the reasons many of us are eager to speak next
is that silence between speakers makes some people feel
We should avoid steering others down a
rabbit hole by asking or making comments
that are unrelated to the topic at hand.
Kindly allow others to completely clarify their stance,
concern, etc. before responding. Instead of waiting for an
opportunity to speak, let us endeavor to understand.
Listening is often more beneficial than speaking.
Listening demonstrates humility. Saying less and listening
more will help you become more intellectual, caring, and
We are more aware, perceptive, and able to think clearly
when our minds are quiet.
When we are attentive, we are providing something significant,
valuable, and appreciated to the one who is speaking. The
individual doing the talking will feel understood and appreciated.
When people are not bothered with speaking, their emphasis
and attention is usually on listening. They may hear a variety
of things and obtain unexpected insights.
Listening to God and listening to others were both essential
skills for Jesus. Jesus was fully present with those He came into
contact with. Jesus purposefully focused His attention on the
Listening to truly understand and waiting for the individual to
finish their narrative are two of the most useful things we can do
for each other.
In allowing people to speak their experiences, Jesus was gentle
and patient. Jesus was compassionate. He also paid close attention
to what was not mentioned.
Jesus wept with them and was present in their anguish. Jesus
realized that listening with His ears and His heart was the finest
way to minister to people.
People in crisis, grief, or pain seek the attention from one who
listens with their ears and their hearts.
When we're talking, we're not usually
listening much, and we're not always
learning much either.
It can be incredibly beneficial to listen more and say less.
We win the respect and trust of those with whom we
converse, and when we talk, we command attention.
It doesn't mean we're thinking less, but quieting our tongues
and minds can lead to an increase in information and knowledge
flow. With increased sensitivity and awareness, our thoughts
might become clearer and more stimulated. These are the benefits
of cultivating inner and outer silence.
It can be difficult to remain aware of what is going on around
us when we are constantly talking. We hear more when we
The more we listen, the more we understand how much we don't
know and how much we need to know. The humility that comes
with it is a true sign of wisdom and enlightenment.
We should feel deeply honored when someone invites us in
to be a part of understanding the experiences they have lived
or are living. It is a great gift of trust that we should never take
We should always hold everything one has said in the strictest
of confidence, even if the speaker has not requested it. People
are sometimes open and vulnerable in times of crisis and
nothing they say needs to be repeated outside of the
confidence in which they have spoken to us.
Listening is essential in relationships. It is also
important that we listen with our hearts to hear
what is not being said; to see what feelings and
needs are really being conveyed.
To listen allows us to walk through the experience
of another's life.
It is interesting that in James 1:19, James' opening
“Be quick to listen, slow to speak,
and slow to get angry.”
This follows the same sequence that Luke uses
after presenting the parable of the sower.
"Whoever has ears to hear,
let them hear."
Jesus follows it with the exhortation,
“Consider carefully how you listen.”
In Matthew (13:9), Jesus immediately follows the
“Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
We should even wait a moment before we begin to respond.
This gives the speaker a chance to add anything else they
may have thought of.
By waiting an additional moment before we reply we also
let the speaker know they have been heard completely.
If we practice this for a time people will relax when
conversing with us because they will know that they
don’t have to rush to get their point across.
They will appreciate the fact that they can
communicate with us and be heard and respected.
Effective listening develops empathy,
which is the capacity for a deep understanding
of another's experience.
We should sincerely work to understand one's message;
and ask relevant, open-ended questions to clarify
and learn more, i.e., (“What do you mean by that?”
or “When did that happen?…”) this may help us stay
Not interrupting gives the speaker
a sense of importance, and it is the
respectful thing to do.
May we listen with the genuine intent to understand
what the speaker is communicating. "It is better to
listen in order to understand... than to listen in order to
May we be more receptive to the speaker’s needs –
they may just need us to listen, and not try to fix the
Sometimes being listened to is
“We have two ears and one mouth
so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
Are you listening for understanding,
or are you focused more on what you
are going to say next?
As the other person is speaking, are you
not actually listening to much of what
the other person is saying, or are you
busy crafting your response?
Listening is a magnetic and strange thing,
a creative force.
Listening is the ability to accurately receive and
interpret messages in the communication process.
Listening is key to all effective communication.
Without the ability to listen effectively,
messages are easily misunderstood.
Listening is Not the Same as
Listening requires focus and concentrated effort.
Listening means paying attention not only to the story,
but how it is told.
Listening is an under valued art.
Constantly talking isn’t necessarily...
is the cardinal rule for good listening.
* Pay attention to sound
* Hear with thoughtful attention
* Be considerate
The most basic and powerful way to connect
to another person is to listen...
"No one is as deaf as the person
who will not listen."
Tips for being a good listener:
Maintain good eye contact.
When we don't look someone in the eyes,
it can come off as being arrogant, untrustworthy,
disingenuous, or stand-offish.
Our outward behavior can speak volumes and even create
discomfort. Crossed arms can send the wrong message.
Studies have shown that the subtleties of body language, tone,
and posturing accounts for a huge part of how information is
communicated or miscommunicated.
Let us cultivate the right demeanor.
Listen with all senses and seriously concentrate and consider
what is being said. Ask questions, when there is a pause, that
takes the conversation deeper. Do not interrupt or speak over
someone who is talking.
"Wise men talk because they have something to say,"
Plato once said. "Fools, because they have to say
something." We can all become better communicators
if... we train ourselves to listen more.
To put more effort into listening
and less into telling
is very rewarding.
We earn the right to be heard
by sincerely listening to others.