My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:9
Today's Devotional Insight...
The Difficult Art of Listening
“I’m not satisfied with how well I help when someone comes to me for counsel.”
“When the other person is sharing their trouble, are you thinking of how to answer?”
“That’s your problem.”
I went on to explain to the young intern who had come to me that his focus needed to be on listening to what the person speaking was saying. Coming up with a solution could wait. The first step must be to listen so as to understand clearly what the speaker is trying to convey.
Listening well is more difficult than it may seem, whether in a counseling situation or in any conversation. You likely think you are better at it than you really are. But if you can master its art, it becomes your most effective tool in solving problems, changing attitudes, and motivating others.
What makes listening a difficult art? One is the difficulty of the other person in communicating. This is especially true when a person is coming to you troubled about a problem. Their thoughts are jumbled; they don’t tell the whole story. People, in conversation, will often talk in such a way that they assume you can fill in the gaps and understand their implied comments. “You know what I mean.” “You know how it is.” Sometimes the problem being discussed is not the real problem. It is an excuse to speak with you, or it is a symptom of a larger issue that the individual seeking counsel is not cognizant of.
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Today’s Pastoral Resource...
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