The Art of Hearing

Here is how it unfolded today:

  •       I am kindly reminded I have a blog due for LFA tomorrow.
  •      A great recommendation from my best friend comes my way: How about you do it on “The Art of Hearing,” and I respond, “YES! That’s great!”
  •       I then begin to think about that word HEARING, as I usually do when it’s blog time. Trying to see a neat acronym or some such thing that will draw the reader in!
  •       Well, the coolest thing hit me: HEARING, in the verbal form, is accomplished through the EAR! The word is embedded into the middle of the word HEARING! Isn’t that interesting? Somebody do a word study and let me know if there’s any significance to that.

Anyhow, onto the blog for the week:) “The Art of Hearing”

I am going to do my best to practice the art of communicating well. And boy did it take practice.  The other piece is the Art of Hearing, the one that this blog will be focused on today.

I find that one of the biggest mistakes we make when it comes to hearing someone else, is the practice of conjuring up a whole litany of defense statements/excuses to come back at the person talking to us in order to get the victory in the “courtroom,” especially in conflict situations. Most of us do not like to be criticized due to the fact that we think we rarely do anything wrong! Therefore, it would not be our fault, which would avoid having to say, “I’m sorry for these things”, plus it requires the offender to take responsibility for their actions. It doesn’t stop there for people who follow Jesus. Also included in the Confession (I’m sorry for...) is repentance, which means turning away from that very thing that hurt the other person. It is a beautiful process of reconciliation that God has created for us to walk through when hurts arise. But, none of this can occur without learning how to really, I mean REALLY, listen to the other person.

A way to gauge how well you listen to someone else is to try this exercise. It’s called “Parrot Talk”. Here is how the exercise goes:

  1. There will be the speaker (the one who has been offended)
  2. There also is the listener (or the hearer for the sake of this blog)!
  3. The speaker will follow this pattern: I feel ________________________ because you did not listen to what I was really saying about the issue I’m having with my boss (a feeling word is one word, ie- happy, sad, angry, etc).
  4. The listener will then follow this pattern: I hear you saying that you feel __________________because I did not listen to what you were really saying about the issue you are having with your boss. Is that right?
  5. The speaker can then say, “Yes. That is what I am saying.”
  6. Sometimes, most times for that matter, I have worked with couples that it doesn’t go this smoothly. Most people, unless they have intentionally worked on the art of hearing, do not hear others well. Listen for people’s feeling. Listen to what they are saying to you, instead of creating immature arguments so you do not look so bad. All of us want to be heard. And when you know the other person has really heard you, is mature enough to take the responsibility that belongs to them, and work on the issue together, that is one of the basic building blocks of developing relationship.

There are times when I know I am not going to be a good listener when someone asks me to talk. It is my responsibility to set a boundary by letting them know that I am very interested in what they want to talk about, but now is not a good time due to my limitations (time, tired, etc.). At the same time, it is also my responsibility to give them some options of when I would be available to discuss things. In that, I have sent the message that I care. So in this case, it would be very important that the person, other than myself, be a good listener. That way they do not leave our interaction feeling blown off, since I did communicate how important they were, as well as the content they wanted to discuss.

I would encourage you all to check out these verses that have impacted my walk with Jesus is learning the Art of Hearing.

James 1:19 ESV “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;”

 Proverbs 12:15 ESV “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”

 Proverbs 18:13 ESV “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.”

Proverbs 19:27 ESV “Cease to hear instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.”

 Proverbs 5:1-23 ESV “My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge. For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol; ...”

Proverbs 18:2 ESV “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”

Be blessed friends and thanks for reading!