Are you a good listener? I must confess I’m not always a good listener. Listening well frequently requires skills that must be learned. You will have some listening skills that come naturally to you, and some that need to be acquired. I am an introvert processor and my husband is extrovert processor. That means we listen differently.
I need to write down how I feel about what is said, I need time to process the information. Doc processes out loud – stating the entire problem and all the options that may be available to make a decision.
When my husband and I have a conversation, I find myself hearing only one part of the conversation and stopping to process (probably because I have tuned out the rest of the possibilities until he if finished processing) Then, I miss part of what he is saying. This causes me to return to him to hear the rest of the conversation. It makes him feel as if I have not been listening, when I have fully understood the part I was listening to.
I have learned I don’t need to respond to each scenario he brings up because he is processing. He has learned not to expect an answer from me until I have had time to step away to process, and possibly returned with further questions
Knowing where your strengths and weakness lie is important in learning to be a better listener.
A good listener makes the speaker feel as if she is the only one around and gives her confidence in knowing she is important to you.
There are five parts to being a good listener.
Empathizing with the speaker
This means you can state in your own words what the person speaking is feeling as well as what they are saying. You are able fully empathize with someone who might have a different point of view from you.
Understanding the whole picture
This means you are able to sum up correctly the entire conversation. You can take the conversation and explain it to someone who was not present. You are able to come up with where the facts of the conversation will lead in years to come.
You are able to weigh both sides of a conversation and evaluate the information for accuracy, relativity and time frame.
Noticing the Steps to a decision
Can you listen to a conversation and remember the small details? You might miss the bigger picture but you got all of the steps leading there? Can you evaluate and know if the situation needs immediate action or needs to simmer a little. Can hone in on what areas need more information to make a decision?
Being aware of body language
You can see what isn’t spoken. You know if there is a deeper issue to be explored. You watch eye contact and hand movement to fully understand the heart of the person speaking.
Go through this list today and try to identify your strengths and weaknesses in you listening skills. I know it can be very painful! But it can make you a better listener as a friend, coworker, mom and wife!
God has created us to be listeners. We are to first listen to Him, then we can listen to other women, with a heart that is has been prepared to hear.
“My Sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me;” (John 10:27 NASB)
In what areas of listening are your strengths? Which single area will you focus on improving in your next deep conversation?