Effective communication requires active listening. Listening is the ability to receive and interpret the information you just heard.
Hearing and listening are not the same things.
Listening requires focus and concentration; you must stop and listen and interpret what the other person is saying.
You may not agree with what the other person is saying, so you might have to agree to disagree, but that’s better than ultimately devaluing what the other person has communicated.
And you always want to clarify to ensure there are no misunderstandings.
For example, you can say, “Let me make sure that I understand what you just said,” then repeat what you think you heard.
You’ve been in those conversations when you know that the other person you’re speaking to is distracted and not listening, and you know how that makes you feel.
So… don’t be that person.
Lack of effective communication can cause so many unnecessary conflicts and difficulties. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason! We need to spend more time listening than talking.
Sometimes your loved ones and others around you try to share how they feel, and you spend so much time figuring out what your response will be and talking that you fail to listen and hear the point they are trying to make.
And this can lead to a lot of hurt feelings and frustration.
I understand that listening can be difficult for a lot of people and if you struggle with this, begin to practice the art of learning how to listen with the intent to understand the other person.
James 1:19-20 says: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
Everyone should be quick to listen and slow to speak.
We need to learn how to be silent and attentive when listening.
Remember: The words listen, and silent have the same letters.
Sometimes the quieter you become, the more you will begin to hear.
Active listening tells the other person that you value what they are saying.
• Listening provides
• Listening builds trust
• Listening can help reduce conflict
• Listening helps you to learn new things
• Listening can improve your relationships
I love this quote from Rachel Remen,
“The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention.”
Are you a good listener, or could your listening skills use a little work?
Remember, the next time you’re conversing with someone, spend more time listening and shhhhhhh.