Listening is one of life’s most critical skills. If you sell anything or plan to sell anything for a living—being a good listener is a non-negotiable. If you are in a relationship of any variety—your ability to listen is a direct correlation with your ability to relate. If you are a student—it is not possible to learn without listening.
Listening demonstrates respect.
One of the best ways to respect another human being is to intently listen to what they have to say. Listening is an outcome of humility. It tells the other person they matter just like we matter. The first function of love is listening. Listening to another person says something like: “I value your thoughts and I value you. I want to learn your story. I want to hear what you have to say.”
Listening communicates better than speaking.
People don’t always need advice. Generally, what we need most, is somebody to listen to us. Listening communicates “I am here for you and I am in your corner.” That beats “You shouldn’t have done this or you should do that.”
Listen to understand. Don’t listen to reply.
There is a huge dissimilarity between politely waiting for your turn to speak and authentically listening to another person. Listen with such focus that other people love speaking to you.
Be an active listener.
We are trained to passively listen. We sit quietly and make it through the fifty-minute class. We try not to fall asleep and are too polite to interrupt. We learn enough to do well on the test.
Active listening is different. It means we disrupt and ask questions for clarification. Active listening means we make an invitation to continue the conversation when the other party is done speaking.
Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance. –Proverbs 1:5