Effective Listening

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?

DSCN0580 - CopyEffective 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.


Categories: attitude, Bible, Christian, Christianity, encouragement, family, friends, inspiration, Life, Love, marriage, Reflections, Religion, Spirituality, thoughts | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “Effective Listening

  1. You are so very right about listening. Rather that being poised with ready answers, when counseling I often pray, “Lord help me to ask good questions that will be helpful to my client as well as broaden my understanding.” To ask meaningful questions looking to better understand what has been expressed, communicates the kind of caring hurting people appreciate.


  2. Pingback: Want to help somebody? Shut up and listen. | Andraz Tori Blog

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  4. pattisj

    Thanks for the listening lesson. I’ll try to do better.


  5. i love to listen but YUP, many times I’m jumping with ideas instead. Bless you.


  6. Words of wisdom, Butch … I’m listening.
    Blessings ~ Maxi


  7. Listening is so hard because we’re either too busy thinking about what we’re going to say to the person talking, or we’re too busy saying what we’ve been thinking about saying to the person talking. (yeah, I wrote it that way on purpose). It’s hard for us to set aside our own feelings and thoughts and concentrate on the other person; but when we learn that skill, effective listening will change us and the people to whom we listen.


  8. Thank you, today I will practice harder.


  9. Hi Butch! Thank you for this post! I have not always been an effective listener; but it is my prayer and desire to be so…everyday. Blessings to you my brother!


  10. Steven Sawyer

    You hit me right between the eyes on this one. Definitely one of the biggest things I need to keep working on all the time. Thanks for sharing.


  11. In the book “How To Win Friends and Influence People”, the author specifies that being a good listener is the best way to be a great conversationalist. You will never be short on people to talk to! Thanks for posting this excellent reminder : )


  12. Turning a discussion into self-centered conversation about themself when you are attempting to explain, inform or just talk about something that is of concern to you is the quickest way to end the dialog. Thank you for this post.


  13. It is very important. I once taught a class to the Intelligence Community called: “How to Listen”….thought it was interesting that they needed this class!


  14. jaynepevans

    I have a friend like this. She is a good listener. I feel safe telling her things. A friend that is a good listener is rare indeed.


  15. Ouch, but thank you for reminding me of this painful truth!


Thank you for your thoughts.

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