I began 2019 asking Father what I needed to focus on this year. He revealed to me that I needed to be a better listener. I needed to understand why I needed to be better at listening and not just hearing, and to do that, I have to start by being honest with myself about how I listen.
As I started to process this, I tried to take an objective approach to get myself off of the hook, and I realized that the art of listening is a lost discipline that is rudely interrupted with a mind that is bustling with busy-ness! I am speaking of myself of course! This is what I discovered:
-Many times, I am only partially listening because I am either distracted or calculating responses to one that I may disagree with, or I have a thought and I want to be heard.
-Other times, my listening is hindered by disinterest and apathy towards the topic of conversation.
-Sometimes, I refuse to listen because I insist on being right, even at the cost of relationships or at someone else’s expense.
-Often times, in my failure to listen well, I pave the way to misunderstanding someone else or being misunderstood myself.
If I am honest, it is more often than it should be that I am not as still, quiet, fully attentive, and actively listening to the other person as much as I would want them to listen to me. I realize that when I fail to listen well, at the very least, it strains relationships-and I care about that!
Eventually, through the intentional and active practicing and failing, practicing and succeeding, practicing - practicing and more practicing, I hope to become a better listener.
What about you?
How well do you do in this area?
What suggestions do you have that may be helpful?
I look forward to hearing from you! You can share with me by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org