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Archive for August 1st, 2020

Listening

Meditation

Written by Ken Blanchard, a contemporary Christian writer who focuses on servant leadership.  This was excerpted from his article “6 Practices That Will Make You a Better Listener.”

As we begin to come out of the coronavirus pandemic and run smack into the turmoil around continuing racism in our country, I think it’s a good time to review an essential leadership skill: listening. So often the key to overcoming a difficulty—whether it’s in the workplace or at home—is to stop talking and start listening. I often like to joke that if God had wanted us to talk more than listen, he would have given us two mouths. Yet few people have mastered the art of listening. Why is this seemingly simple skill so difficult? Research published by Wendell Johnson in the Harvard Business Review examined one way the listening process goes wrong. Johnson found that because of how our brains work, we think much faster than people talk. As we listen to someone talk, we have time to think of things other than what the person is saying. As a result, we end up listening to a few thoughts of our own in addition to the words we’re hearing spoken. Usually we can get back to what the person is saying, but sometimes we listen to our own thoughts too long and miss part of the other person’s message. To sharpen your listening skills, learn to apply the following six practices: Resist the temptation to jump in, pay attention to body language, ask questions, reflect feelings, paraphrase and summarize. These practices are not easy—they require time and effort to master. But once you do master them, you’ll build more satisfying relationships. You’ll also avoid a lot of the errors, frustrations, and inefficiencies that come from unclear communication. Think of how our homes, workplaces, nation, and world could change for the better if we all learned to listen to one another.

Prayer

Dear God, as I strive to walk more closely with you, I pray that I will be able to reach out and show more love to all my neighbors in this world. Enlarge my circle of those I interact with.  Through your grace and mercy, teach me to truly listen to others and better understand others views and experiences. Teach me to take the time to just listen, not rush to judgement or quickly provide solutions. Allow me to empathize with their concerns and show compassion and love. Help me to become involved in ways that show much I deeply care. Allow me to represent you by loving and caring for all those I encounter. Be with me Holy Spirit, as I continue to grow in my walk with Jesus. Amen

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