I hope I am getting wiser as I am getting older. If you were to ask my advice today on how to build great relationships and to make the most difference in the lives of others, I would say, “Listen, listen, and listen some more.” My children have never once thanked me for some lecture I gave them, but when I bit my tongue and was just there and just listened, they always thanked me for listening. Listening is what makes people feel valued and affirmed. Maybe that is why that God in His wisdom says, “He that answers before listening, that is his folly and shame.” Most of us are a lot better at talking than at listening. Sometimes we are busy dispensing advice, spouting our opinions, thinking about what we are going to say next, forming a judgment without hearing all the facts, interrupting to tell our story that we fail to really hear what the other person is really saying. Most people just want to know that somebody listened to them. Listening creates a great sense of value. Wise people, godly people listen, listen, and listen some more. Nothing makes people feel more loved, appreciated, and affirmed than when someone took the time to listen to them. Pray that God will help you be a good listener today.
– Dr. Tim Thompson