Another aspect in becoming a good communicator is encouraging our kids to be attentive listeners. Having the ability to express our feelings in a respectful and honoring tone is important, but extending the courtesy of a listening ear is an invaluable trait to possess. A good listener asks questions, repeats what they heard, lets the other person finish their sentence, and is not focused on thinking of their response while the other person talks.
Once again, we set the example of what a good listener looks like. I admit this is not my strong suit. I really have to pay attention to listening well. I can't tell you how many times my kids have said, "Mom, you are not listening to me, you keep interrupting me." Interrupting someone is the epitome of disrespect in communicating. I want my kids to leave my house with a healthy habit of listening, and I want them to see it modeled well in my life.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself about your listening skills:
- Do I allow my child to finish his/her thought when talking?
- Am I thinking about what I'm going to say next instead of listening to what she/he is saying?
- Do I ask questions?
- Do I ever say "so what I hear you saying is...."
- Do I manipulate with my words?
- Do I tend to "strong arm" the conversation?
James 1:29 encourages us in the art of listening and communicating well:
"My dear brothers, take note of this; Everyone should be quick to listen , slow to speak and slow to become angry."
Won't you join me in making a conscious effort this week to become a better listener...at home with our family, in our work place, and in our friendships? A good listener becomes a better wife, a better mom, a better employee, a better friend and a better follower of Christ.
Have a blessed week....