Listening – a relatively simple skill, one that everyone practices routinely, right? Actually, not so! As a matter of fact, most people I know are extremely deficit in their listening skills. Why? Primarily, because we’ve not been taught how to listen.
Successful coaches and mentors know that in order to be effective in ministry they must learn how to master the art of listening. Jesus was a master at the art. He not only listened, he also understood. He was a master at entering into a person’s world through competent listening and powerful communication.
So where do we begin?
Start by being fully present when engaging in conversation.
True listening is the art of fully engaging someone; that is, being fully present while in the conversation. Such practice is rare in today’s world.
To be fully present in a conversation is a powerful force that has life changing consequences for the person being engaged. Listening with this kind of intensity demands not only a measure of self-denial, but also some learning and much practice.
To be fully engaged in conversation always releases the person who is being listened to, to feel more affirmed, valued, and supported. When full engagement is not offered, the opposite is true.
You may be asking, “is this kind of attention possible?” The answer is yes and no! Yes when one becomes keenly aware of their own listening prowess, and cognizant of when it is engaged and when it isn’t. The answer is No, when we realize the factors that many factors play into a given coaching session and often detract our listening abilities
So the key is awareness. Not only of what is going on not only with your client but also what is going on within your life condition. What are a few detractors? Here are a few common ones; weariness, physical tiredness. What about an unusually heavy emotional load that you are carrying?
Are you fully present in your conversations? Hopefully these ideas will help you become better at “being fully present in the moment.”
- To be fully present I need to…
- For me, here are a few of my strongest detractors…
- I will become better at being fully present in the moment by…
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