Image courtesy of Mickipedia
"Good Listening ~ The Liberating Ear", by James A. Griepp, is a wonderful article I recently read. Often we need someone who can be a good listener when we are going through hard times. It helps us to process and make sense of the challenge. This article helped me to realize how much we can grow when we make the effort to listen more. In the middle of a challenge it is easy to forget that our family and friends also need to be heard. Other people also struggle. What a gift we receive when we gain the ability to be a good listener, forgetting ourselves many times a day in every conversation!
I like the scripture that Griepp included in his article, ""Having ears, they hear not" (Psalm 135:17).
I think I'm a good listener, but I realize I have a lot of room for improvement. Loving family members often guide me to better listening (when I give advice when what they really need is for me to listen, or when it's obvious I'm thinking about what I want to say next and hardly hear what they are telling me). This article, "How to Really Listen to Someone" gives ideas on Active Listening which I like.
My two oldest children returned a few weeks ago from being full-time Christian missionaries for two years for the Mormon church. They are good listeners...phenomenal listeners. I am learning how to be a better listener from observing them. I notice that they give other people their full, relaxed attention and look in their eyes. They are comfortable with long pauses of silence after someone says something to them, and then they respond with a thoughtful comment relating to what the person just told them. It is so validating.
Griepp offers "characteristics of good listening", and "negative listening traits". I hope you like his article.