- When we listen, we encourage the other person to talk.
- Listening also helps us to understand the other person.
- Reasons many of us do not listen:
- We’re defensive.
- We assume we already know what they’re going to say.
- We’re thinking about what we’re going to say next.
- With observation listen not merely with our ears, but listen with our eyes.
- With concentration focus on what the other person is saying.
- With consideration think about the meaning behind the words without jumping to conclusions.
- With clarification think it through until we get it straight.
- Proverbs 10:19 “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.”
- Proverbs 17:27 “He who has knowledge spares his words,
And a person of understanding is of a calm spirit.”
- Proverbs 21:23 “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue
Keeps his soul from troubles.”
- Ecclesiastes 5:3 “For a dream comes through much activity,
And a fool’s voice is known by his many words.”
- Destructive games we play:
- The judge we blame our mate.
- The professor we act superior.
- The psychologist we assume we understand everything about the other person.
- The historian we keep a record; we want every detail correct.
- The dictator we want to rule, sometimes by a show of force.
- The critic we compare our mate with other people.
- The preacher we act “holier than thou”.