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The Practice Of Listening Well (via Brad Hambrick)

Brad Hambrick writes about listening well.
There are some good points about the difference between listening as a friend or a counsellor: ” a friend listens as a participant in your story while a counsellor listens as an observer of your story.”
From the post:

The Practice of Listening
No instruction can create or replace desire. The main skill in being a good listener is wanting to be a good listener. The core of listening is placing enough value on the other person and what he/she is saying that you quit playing your thoughts (mentally or verbally) over theirs. When you begin to do this you will find that your responses and body language almost always draw out the other person. The skills below [in the post] are merely examples of things that value other people.

Read the whole post at Brad Hambrick.


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Silence Teaches Us to Listen (via Brian Croft)

Brian Croft writes about the virtues of silence in a noisy and distracted world.
It is a practice that Christians exercise before God, and one that we then exercise toward one another, so that we might truly listen.
Croft explains how silence enables us to listen, not just wait for our turn to make noise.

Silence Teaches Us to Listen
I was deeply troubled to learn that I had been a pastor for so long, and yet remained a poor listener. Sure, I listened, but it was mostly to prepare a response. I needed to learn to listen without needing to respond—just to listen and empathize.
As I embraced silence, I realized I was learning to listen. I heard sounds around me I never noticed before. I felt more receptive to God’s Word. It’s amazing what happens when you’re not preoccupied with trying to figure out what to say or do next.

Read the rest of Croft’s post here.


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What Great Listeners Actually Do (via Harvard Business Review)

A friend of mine highlighted this article from Harvard Business Review.
It’s packed with helpful content.
The conclusion:

We suspect that in being a good listener, most of us are more likely to stop short rather than go too far. Our hope is that this research will help by providing a new perspective on listening. We hope those who labor under an illusion of superiority about their listening skills will see where they really stand. We also hope the common perception that good listening is mainly about acting like an absorbent sponge will wane. Finally, we hope all will see that the highest and best form of listening comes in playing the same role for the other person that a trampoline plays for a child. It gives energy, acceleration, height and amplification. These are the hallmarks of great listening.

Read the whole post here.


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Improving Our Listening Skills

I struggle to be a good listener.
My mind usually wants to offer some story of my own, or articulate a conclusion I’ve reached about what I’m hearing.
This video has some helpful instructions that need to be revisited over and over again.
The people who made this have made other videos. I have not watched any others yet, so this isn’t a commendation of all their releases.