Why give answers when there are no questions? Why offer advice when none is asked for? Why is it so hard to listen…just listen?
Effective listening takes practice. One of the hardest areas for an effective listener to overcome is the tendency to talk; offering advice or “words of wisdom” and busy thinking of something to say when one is supposed to be listening.
Effective listening is opinion free and non-judgmental. When someone needs to talk, they are not necessarily looking for answers or direction; they just need to talk. An effective listener knows how to “lend an ear.”
Effective listening is “other-centered” not “self-centered.” The worst scenario is when the listener turns the focus onto their own experience, rather than the experience of the one talking. An effective listener will keep the focus on the one who is talking. It is about them, not the listener.
I encourage you to practice effective listening in all areas of life: with your spouse, your children, other family members, friends and those you meet each day. One of the biggest parts of any conversation is listening. Listen as if there was going to be a test! Listen as if your life depended upon it! You never know…it might.
Do you suppose God might hope for his children to be effective listeners? There is a time to talk and a time to listen. Effective listeners know the difference.