Not just hearing people’s voice as they speak, but REALLY listening to what they are actually saying?
The main reason I am asking this is due the fact that the other day I spent around an hour on the phone with a lady who was helping my husband and I get some assistance for things as he has now been unemployed for a number of weeks.
She seemed very informative, actually promised to send us information to help us with contacting people who would assist us with my husband’s VA information.
Anyway, she concluded the conversation saying that all the paperwork is done, and she would send everything to us for our signatures (highlighting where we needed to sign), and this would all be expedited. That was last Friday, the company is local, today is Thursday – it finally arrived. Why? The street “South Flores” somehow became “Salt Waters”.
Now, I am a person who is fairly articulate when I speak. Most people can clearly understand me. I do not rush when speaking, especially when I am passing along information to someone who is typing or writing it down. However, that, along with spelling my husband’s name wrong (even though I spelled it for her), means that we now have to start all over again.
I am honestly flabbergasted that the mail actually arrived at our destination – kudos to the postal service!
Then, last night at Bible Study, and again this morning during our personal Bible Study/Devotional/Prayer time, my husband and I were reminded of the power of our words and how to speak and how to listen. So . . . that is why today I am bringing up this subject to you.
The questions I wish to pose to myself and all who are attentive to this subject are:
1 – When someone is speaking to me, am I already forming an answer before they are finished speaking?
2 – Am I focusing on the words they are speaking? Their body language? The tone of voice they are using?
3 – Do I repeat back to them what I believe I heard them say? Along with my own question as to “Am I understanding you to say/mean…..?”
4 – Do I smile, nod my head occasionally, yet not really taking to heart the meaning of their words?
5 – Do I tend to interrupt with my own input on the subject?
O U C H !
Many people have told me “thank you, you’re such a good listener”, and I honestly had to keep myself from choking because there were times when these words were said to me and I realize that at various points in our conversation, that their voice was only on the periphery of my mind. But their words sincerely impacted me and my own mindset began to change and I absolutely began to keep the words people were speaking at the center of my own focus. I began to hone in on their words and begin to LISTEN.
Although I have become better in the listening department, I must confess that the Lord is still working on me when it comes to interrupting. Mercy, this has been a really tough one for me. An idea, quote, Scripture, example, etc. comes to me while someone is speaking and at times it feels so important that it simply wants to burst forth right out of my mouth . . . with God’s help, I will overcome this obstacle, too!
Something for all of us to think about today . . .
(c) klh 4Given Ministries