Monday, June 27, 2011

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.


Kathleen said...

What a gift is a listening ear. In my own experience I know how valued I feel when someone is giving me their full attention. It's not hard to know the difference between that, and someone who's eager to get their two-cents worth in.

When it comes to grandchildren ... well, I could listen all day long (unless they're playing LOUD music). I do declare I've learned more from them, than they from me.

Precious photos, too. You always capture such compelling elements.

Stacey said...

Judy, this is a very thoughtful post. I find that I often walk away from encounters with people and think that I talked too much. In my desire to make them feel comfortable...I try too hard. Now whether or not it bothers someone is a mystery to me but I'm aware of it. Here's to thoughtful listening. :)

lindsey said...

Great post Judy, thank you. I certainly need to be reminded of this at times. I was speaking in church on Sunday from Ephesians 6:1-3. I was given the sermon title 'Good Kids?' but I changed it to 'How to love your kids' when I spoke about listening to our children I used James 1:19-20. You are right, listening to others is so important.

Melinda said...

I think that we all try to be the best listener we can be, but as you said sometimeswe jump ahead or in my case I get distracted witn something. Debbie always has "good food for thought."
All we can do is try our best.


PS: Loved the dog and man picture!!

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Thank you for passing along those insights and reminders by Debbie Macomber. She has been a favorite author of mine for years.

Love the pictures you chose for each concept as well.

Dale said...

What a good reminder for me, when my 'talker' gets going faster than my 'listeners.' Sounds like a very wise lady.

Judy said...

Good thoughts about listening. I just discovered Debbie Macomber last year. Fiction and non-fiction...a great author.


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