Have you been in a conversation with someone and
you were not really listening completely to what they
had to say because you are too busy formulating
Have you ever found yourself mindlessly saying
“Uh huh” when someone was trying to tell you something?
We all know how upsetting it can be to have someone
not listen to our feelings, not validate our suffering,
not just stop for a minute and take our perspective and
let us know they understand.
Many treat conversations like a competitive sport by trying to
dominate the conversation to see who can make the deepest,
brightest, wisest, most intellectual points or who can wield,
supposedly, the most superior knowledge.
Finishing sentences for others and interrupting
sends a message that what you have to say
is more important and can diminish the speaker’s
sense of control and importance.
Allowing the person to completely finish their thought,
before you begin to form a response, is crucial to good listening.
Trying to persuade others without fully listening
to their point of view can, sometimes, short circuit
our blessings. Who knows... one could end up learning
something that could change their viewpoint...
Some will miss out on boat-loads of information because
they are busy planning how to respond or interrupt the speaker.
This kind of conversation has tremendous pitfalls!
Two of the most difficult things to learn in life are to sincerely
listen carefully... and bend low the ear of the heart.
The Scriptures remind us to...
be ready to listen, and slow to speak.
One of the reasons many of us are so eager to speak next
is because we feel awkward when there is silence in between
We should avoid steering others off topic
with questions or comments that aren’t
related to the conversation.
May we allow others to fully explain their position,
problem, etc., before jumping in with a reply.
Listening can be a more invaluable service than speaking.
Listening is a mark of humility. Saying less and hearing
more, can make one more intelligent, compassionate and
When our minds are quiet, we are more observant,
more perceptive and able to think more clearly.
We are giving something important, useful, and
admired to the person who's speaking when we are
attentive. The person who's doing the talking will
feel understood and valued.
In most cases, when people are not concerned with
speaking, their focus and attention is on listening.
They may hear many things and gain insights that
they did not expect.
Listening to God and listening to people were both important
practices for Jesus.Jesus was fully present with those whom
He encountered. Jesus, deliberately, gave people His full
To listen so that we may really understand, and wait...
allowing the person to complete their story... are two of
the most beneficial things we can do for each other.
was by listening with His ears and His heart.
When people are in crisis, grief, or pain, they need
someone who will listen.
When we’re doing the talking, we’re typically
not doing a whole lot of listening, and often
not a lot of learning either.
A good listener gets to know something.
Listening more and speaking less can be very beneficial.
We gain the respect and trust of those we are conversing
with, and we command attention when we do speak.
It doesn’t mean we are thinking less, but when we silence
our mouths and minds it can lead to a flow of increased
information and knowledge. Our thoughts can become
clearer and better stimulated with greater perception
and awareness. These are gifts that come when we cultivate
inner and outer silence.
To be perceptive of what’s going on around us when we’re busy
talking all the time can become a bit of a challenge. The less we speak
the more we hear. The more we listen, the more we come to realize
how much we don’t know and need to know. The humility that comes
with this is a true sign of intelligence 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.