Be Quick to Listen and Slow to Speak
How many times have we spoken over someone and totally disregarded what they were trying to say?
Do we as humans really listen to what someone is saying before we offer our own opinion?
Face it, God gave us two ears and one mouth. That is because we should listen twice as much as we speak.
Think of it this way. Two people having a dispute. One person starts speaking and the other starts to listen. But how long is it before the person doing the listening starts to talk all over the speaker?
Couples having an argument do this on a regular basis. It is almost as if the listener suddenly pulls out a key phrase or words which he or she feels passionately enough to defend. But IF we allowed the speaker to complete what they had to say, weighed it up in our mind to form a valid response, then more problems could be solved.
I have been guilty of this. If I am honest I still am. I usually listen half-hearted to what someone has to say. Then when something strikes up an emotion in me, I start to talk all over the speaker. In hindsight, if I were to allow the person to complete what they had to say, I would probably reply in a more constructive way.
Realising we have two ears and one mouth is a simple lesson that mean we should learn the art of being quick to listen and be slow to speak.
Good listening builds relationships. However, good listeners are not born – they are bred!
Here are a few tips on becoming a better person at listening:
1. Always listen without interrupting.
It is difficult, especially during a dispute and you may have to listen to things about you or something that you disagree on. When the debate is personal – let’s say between yourself and a partner – this can be twice as hard to do.
Remember the old saying: “A still tongue keeps a wise head.”
Resist the temptation to just dive in and complete the sentence, or hijack the floor. Rein yourself in for a moment and just listen!
2. Listen to understand.
If someone has a point to make, then no matter how hard it is to resist jumping in to defend yourself or offer an explanation, do your best to try and understand their point of view and feelings on the subject matter. Try and comprehend their emotions, their thinking and needs. Do your best to reflect their passion on yourself and put yourself in their shoes.