"I am the vine; you are the branches." (John 15:5)

Being a Better Listener Part 1 of 2

If there is one subject that I think we can never get too much on, it is that of listening. Being a good listener doesn’t necessarily come naturally for leaders. As leaders, we not only have to be able to listen to what people have to say, but we also set the example for the group on how well they listen to each other.

Here is a list of tips to help us be better listeners:

Be quiet – My father told more than just a few times – you can’t hear when you’re talking so be quiet and listen! As the discussion leader, you should be a part of the discussion, but not monopolize it.

Try to understand – The goal of listening is to understand what the person is really saying. If you can say to yourself what you think the person is saying in your words, you’re probably hearing them well.

Pay Attention –  People are more comfortable sharing and will go deeper when they feel heard. Don’t look at your watch or lesson plan when someone is speaking.

Reiterate – It’s good when you’re one on one to make sure you are hearing what the person is saying by repeating back to them what you heard. Statements like: “It sounds like you’re saying _______ ” help the listener feel heard, but they also help clarify that we heard what they were saying (which does not always happen). This tool can be valuable in a group setting when you think it might not be clear to everyone what the speaker is saying. It also emphasizes the listening and hearing part for everyone!


January 2, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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