Listening requires focus and must be practiced for it to be developed. The power of listening requires a thoughtful approach and a strategy.
There is a reason we have trouble being good listeners. In much the same way that our curiosity has been stolen, our ability to be a good listener has been taken as well. Since our culture is designed to drive curiosity from us, it has also taken our ability to listen with it. You can't have one without the other.
The importance of being a good listener cannot be over emphasized. It is a core function of learning, reasoning and understanding. It is a superpower for knowing the Lord and a superpower for communicating.
Listening Is CommandedJesus insisted that we be expert listeners.
Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. Revelation 2, 3 NLTReverend Bob Griffith pointed out in the article, Salvation, Relationship, Testimony, that there is a blessing behind the Lord's commands. The command to be an expert listener has blessings as well.
In addition to the blessings in Revelation 2 and 3, there are many benefits that can be listed for being a great listener. Here are a few that should get you excited:
- It's our best chance to know the Lord.
- It's our best chance to understand things communicated.
- It's our best chance to understand the world around us.
- It's our best chance to create opportunities to deliver the Gospel.
- It's our best chance to plant and water the Word of God.
- A good listener is a good thinker.
- A great listener is a great thinker.
- A great listener develops great questions.
Active ListeningThere are techniques to take charge of your mind and set yourself up to be in a ready state to be a fantastic listener. They are easy to use. They are effective to keep us focused, learning, analyzing, evaluating and determining a course of action. The challenge is to use them and become an expert listener.
Expect To Make A DiscoveryMost people do not have a developed philosophy of life. Most philosophical presentations are "templated" and extremely shallow. They are usually very powerful on the surface but crumble under the slightest scrutiny. So push fear aside and take control of how you communicate, how you learn and how you develop your understanding and reasoning.
You will find that folks have pieced together an amalgam of different thoughts and ideas that do not necessarily go together. Based mostly on a given situation, a person will generally do things merely based on the circumstance and self preservation and not necessarily based on core values and a well thought out, values based, decision. This is why we sometimes see a good person make a bad decision.
An expert listener will over time develop their core values and develop the ability to speak intelligently and at length and in depth about them. For the Christian we have a bit of an advantage because we have God's Word. We have His Son and we have the Truth.
Part 2 coming up next!
What is a great mechanism to activate listening?
Curiosity! Take a quick read of, Curiosity… The Hijacked Virtue for a primer.
Do you have an effective listening technique? Please share it here in the comments below.
Please, add your thoughts in the comment section.