The Art of True, Pure Listening

Years ago, my church decided to contact former members to find out why they’d left. Before starting the process, two church members went to Befriender’s for some intensive training on how to listen. When they returned, we who were on the committee to interview the former members spent about six months of weekly sessions to learn the proper way to accomplish the task.

All that to say that listening is far more than just a simple act. It seems to be an art and a science wrapped up tightly together. Anyone can do it. Few do it well. You see, the problem is that you need to ignore actions like talking, suggesting, interrupting, fixing, waiting for the next pause in the conversation so you can suggest, fix, or re-direct the flow of the conversation. For most of us, this is difficult. For some it’s impossible. It took our committee six months to get to the point where we could do nothing but listen and encourage the talker to say more, and to do it naturally.

The results...

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