Are You Listening?

If we are to be Christlike communicators, we need to practice authentic listening skills. In order to be effective communicators within our relationships, we need to stay in the moment, as active listeners. This is easier said than practice.
Let us view our current listening style. Most of our communication skills may have been developed by and through whom we spent most of our time with. During our conversation, we can find ourselves meditating on what we want to say (being heard) versus attentively listening to what the person is sharing.
Suggestive tips on how to become an active listener
Repeat accurately- When it is our turn to speak, we can repeat the last paragraph, last sentence or last words to illustrate our focus was on listening versus allowing our mind to wonder forward on what we need to do next or becoming Mr. or Ms. fix-it.
Acknowledge- This will empathically illustrate to the person sharing that we are offering support through active listening. We can use our words, voice tones, and body languages to let the talkers know that it is ok feel or think the way they do.
Para-feelings- We use our word choices to place the talkers’ expressed emotions into words. We are not accusing the talkers of having certain feelings, we are just stating the feelings they have shared.
As active listeners, our agenda is not about self or playing Mr. or Ms. Fix-it; however, it is about becoming good communicators which will illustrate how effectively we mimic Christ within our relationships.
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice” (Proverbs 12:15 ESV).