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)
- 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)
- 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!