I don’t know whether I have ADD or I’m just easily distracted, but it’s hard for me to sit in a restaurant and not have my eyes dart around the the room like I’m watching bumble bees in a garden.
I love to watch people. So, one of the ways I show Rev intentional love is choosing to sit with my back to the activity and my attention focused on him.
I also sit near the front in church or any place I want to avoid distractions.
Maintaining eye contact is important for anyone who wants to be a good listener.
Let’s take a look at the complete list…
12 Ways to be a More Appreciated Listener
1. Stay Open-minded – It’s easy to go into a conversation with preconceived ideas. If the issue is life or death . . . or eternal in nature, keep an open mind. You might learn something new.
“Learn something new each day – keep your eyes, ears and most of all your mind open.” ~Unknown
2. Pay Attention – Be all there. Put down your electronics. Make eye contact. Really listen.
“A beautiful thing happens when we start paying attention to each other. It is by participating more in your relationship that you breathe life into it.” ~Steve Maraboli
3. Eliminate Distractions – If this is a challenge for you like it is for me . . . be intentional.
[Tweet “This moment won’t come again . . . give it your full attention. “]
4. Use Attentive Body Language – Sit facing each other, uncross your arms, lean in . . . don’t just be interested act it.
“A blur of blinks, taps, jiggles, pivots and shifts … the body language of a man wishing urgently to be elsewhere.” ~Edward R. Murrow
5. Give Care and Compassion – Make it a goal to understand. Try to look at things from the other person’s perspective. Care more about the person than about making a point or winning.
You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. Luke 6:36
6. Don’t Compare – You don’t have to agree, but don’t compare yourself or anyone else to the person with whom you’re talking. Comparing leads to judging, envy, and impatience.
If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. Galatians 6:3–4
7. Don’t Interrupt – It’s just rude.
“Replacing rudeness and impatience with the Golden Rule may not change the world, but it will change your world and your relationships.” ~Steve Shallenberger
8. Avoid Clichés – A good listener avoids the quick pat comments like: “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.” or “When God closes a door, He opens a window.” or “God is trying to get your attention.” or …
Clichés make the listener sound disinterested and in a hurry to move to something else.
“People don’t always need advice. Sometimes all they really need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and a heart to understand them.” ~Unknown
9. Ask Caring Questions – “How can I best help? How can we work on this together? What do you think you should do?”
10. Validate Feelings – Feelings are just feelings. They aren’t right or wrong. You can often help someone just by telling them their feelings are okay.
“Respect people’s feelings! Even if it doesn’t mean anything to you, it could mean everything to them.” ~Unknown
11. Silence is Okay – We are so accustomed to noise it’s hard to wait when someone stops to think or breathe. Give them time.
“Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.” ~Cicero
12. Keep it Private – Put a big star by this one! One of the best ways to be a caring listener is to never share anything someone has told you unless they specifically give you permission.
A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence. Proverbs 11:13
Pray Before, During, and After – Ask God to help you be a good listener. Ask Him for wisdom during the conversation. Ask Him to bless and help your friend.
Follow up – Check in a few days later to see how your friend is doing. Continue to care. Continue to listen.
Which of the above ways is most important to you?
Which one needs some work?