Lend Me Your Ear

Just listen.

One of the things that I struggle with on an almost daily basis is that I have a tendency – a strong tendency – not to listen.  I may be bored, distracted, acting silly, multi-tasking, etc., etc., and miss the gist of a whole conversation.  Sometimes on the telephone with a particularly long-winded friend, I fall asleep, wake up and say “uh, huh”, and carry on like I have an idea of what she’s been chattering about for the last few minutes.  Wrong, I know.

Last night I was in class texting my friends/family asking them to send me funny texts to keep me amused.  I should’ve been listening.  To the instructor.  Who was giving very detailed instructions about our term paper.

I have been married to Smoochy for 9 years, we dated for almost 6 years.  I am often at a loss when it comes to gift ideas for him.  I have a strong suspicion that if I were more in-tune to small conversations we have throughout the year, he would not receive as many gift cards from me as he does.

I sometimes, okay often, question whether or not God is answering my prayers, if He’s guiding me, if I am doing the things that He would have me to do.  Again, if I were listening . . .

I am going to work on my listening skills. I’ve pulled some tips that I (and maybe you??) will use to hone my skills:

  • Listen carefully so that you will be able to understand, comprehend, and evaluate. Careful listening will require a conscious effort on your part. You must be aware of the verbal and nonverbal messages (reading between the lines).
  • You can’t hear if YOU do all the talking. Don’t talk too much.
  • Avoid stereotyping individuals by making assumptions about how you expect them to act. This will bias your listening. (http://www.coping.org/dialogue/listen.htm)

Also: 

  • Formula for handling people: 1. Listen to the other person’s story. 2. Listen to the other person’s full story. 3. Listen to the other person’s full story first.  (Gen. George Marshall, Bits & Pieces, April, 1991)

And finally:

  • I will listen to what God the Lord will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints – but let them not return to folly. (Psalms 85:8)

Happy listening y’all!!  If you hear something good, let me know!

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One thought on “Lend Me Your Ear

  1. I am a facilitator for the Center for Digital Storytelling (www.storycenter.org) and our organization’s motto is Listen Deeply. This too, is hard for me because I’m a talker and an extrovert. When I’m facilitating a workshop, I try to go into a zen mode which allows me to put my self/ego aside to really listen/hear the story being told to me by my workshop participants. My natural instinct is to offer my own experiences which correspond to the story being told, but I must always remember that this is their workshop experience and I’m simply there to guide in telling their own story in their authentic voice.

    Good luck and listen deeply.

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