I’ve recently talked a lot about listening, and talked about the best listener I know, God, so now let’s think about the qualities you find in a good listener:
- They understand that careful listening equips you to disagree well, because by listening you understand more clearly what it is that you disagree with.
- They don’t make hasty judgments but instead they’ll think things through.
- They ask questions to clarify and inform, not to embarrass or belittle.
- They interrupt sometimes, but in a gentle, understanding way.
- They don’t mind not being in control of the conversation.
- They don’t feel uncomfortable if there are silences in the conversation, as they are happy to let the speaker talk in their own time.
- They listen to something even if when it’s hard to hear. i.e. They don’t stop listening as soon as they become offended or turned off by the speaker, and can be told off without feeling rebuked.
- They understand the importance of listening in every relationship, so are continually trying to improve their listening skills.
- They remind themselves that you can learn from anyone, so understand that even the most educated person can still learn from a little child.
- They “listen” to nonverbal communication as well as verbal communication, but count both as equally important.
Do you recognise yourself by any of these listening qualities?
”Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19).