I have given a lot of thought to the process of "listening" lately. I wonder how often we really listen to each other. How often do we take the time, however short that time may be, to hear what others are really saying. Listening is truly a gift we give to others. "When we are generous listeners, we will gain far more than we give."
"Simple Acts of Listening"
by Debbie Macomber
~"Are you an appreciative listener? Nodding occasionally and smiling demonstrates that you are connected with the speaker, appreciating what she has to say.
~Are you an engaged listener? If you practice active listening skills like leaning forward and making eye contact, the person speaking will feel as if he's been heard and you will grasp more or what's being said.
~Are you an intuitive listener? As much as 75 percent of all communication is nonverbal. Pay attention to the signals. Words are just part of the message; try to hear the ideas and feeling behind the words. Listen for the unspoken. You'll be amazed at what you discover.
~Are you an empathetic listener? When you strive for a respectful understanding of the person speaking you move away from a critical form of listening or a fix-it mentality. An empathetic listener uses his imagination to put himself in the speaker's shoes."
I have a problem at times, interrupting someone's sharing because my mind races ahead, and I think I know what they are saying, instead of listening through to the end of their sharing and then commenting. I think the "Simple Acts of Listening" that Debbie Macomber shared in her book, "One Simple Act", are worth sharing today. They serve as a good reminder to me. I like how Debbie says that she wants to become "an extravagantly generous listener." Today, that would be my prayer also. I think our world is desperately longing for others to care and to listen to what they are saying.