God gave us two ears and one mouth…that should be a clue to us. Many people use their mouth more than their ears. They don’t listen to others to understand, but only to reply. These people miss out on opportunities to learn, grow and affirm others in their life.
In the book of Job, after Job’s calamities, his three friends came to visit and sat with him for 7 days without saying a word. They just let Job speak and share. Sometimes it is a time just to listen, not correct, not give our ideas or not even respond…just let the other person share.
John Maxwell says, “People don’t loose intimacy when they stop talking, but when they stop listening. Leaders (people) seldom realize how much their listening empowers the other person. Because they are leaders the sheer act of listening speaks volumes that even a great speech can’t communicate.”
Again, John Maxwell suggests:
- Listening communicates the value of the other person and his or her thoughts.
- Listening communicates love and understanding and care for their needs.
- Listening communicates a desire to grow, learn and remain teachable.
Why not practice just listening to someone for a change and reflecting back to them what you hear them saying, and affirming them rather than sharing your ideas or solving the problem? It might do a lot to make your relationship with them even stronger. Listening creates a relationship where your input is valued. Another time will arise for you to share your thoughts on their issue.