I shared before that I am doing a Bible study by Mary A. Kassian called, "Conversation Peace: The Power of Transformed Speech". I kind of went into it thinking that I could use a tune up. How cocky of me! The Lord is slapping me silly with this study! Apparently I have a problem with my listening skills.
This is sort of embarrassing, because I've taught other women these skills many times. I'm typing this out, so that in a way I'm accountable, to you (my bloggy friends and family who read this).
These are the areas that I need to work on when it comes to ineffective listening habits:
Do you recognize any of these listening patterns in your own life? Tell me I'm not alone, People!!!
1. Assuming Alice-assumes that she knows what you think and feel. Alice could finish all your sentences. She does not hear when you offer new or different information.
2.Self-Centered Samantha-Manages to turn any conversation into an opportunity to showcase her own perspectives and opinions. All that matters to Sam is that you know what she thinks.
3.Solution Sally-knows how to fix everything. Before she has even hears you out, she knows what you ought to do.
In short, I need to Limit my Lip! By talking less, I give the other person the opportunity to express his or her COMPLETE thoughts. A philosopher once said, "We have been given two ears and but a single mouth, in order that we may hear more and talk less."
Identify Key Issues: Effective listeners use their "spare thinking time" to extract the main thought from the speaker's words and behavior. They ask themselves questions such as: "How does she feel?" "What does this mean to him?" You are thinking about you and what brilliant quip you are going to offer to the conversation! You are thinking about them!
I've examined my heart and been as brutally honest with the Lord, as I have you. Part of why I am an Assuming Alice is that I fear my memory is so bad that I'm going to forget what I want to say. Another part of Assuming Alice is that I think I know what you are about to say. I want you to know that I can relate so much with what you are saying that I can finish your sentences for you! I got in this bad habit with my twin, Jackie. We thought it was cool that we could finish each other's sentences from the time we were 10 years old. This bad habit has poured into our grown up relationships and probably drives people batty (right Diana?LOL!). If I've done this to you in person, accept my apology. I'm going to work harder on this, I promise!
Now, how am I a Self-Centered Samantha? Again, I always want to "relate" to people, so if they mention something, I'm searching the back of my mind to tell them my perspective. This isn't necessarily wrong to do all the time. It would be a pretty dry conversation without any kind of interaction. I need to listen more and really see if they want my input, instead of interjecting it constantly.
Ahhh, Solution Sally. That's me! I've got a solution for everything, even before the conversation is done, I've got a solution for you. I need to listen completely, then perhaps tell the person (who is asking for a solution) that I will think on it and pray about it. After those things are done, I will then get back to them.
So there you have it! If you ever thought this girl was a Saint, you were sadly mistaken. Don't you dare put me on that pedestal! I'm a work in progress.
At first I was so discouraged when I read this stuff in my Bible study. I couldn't believe that I had that much to work on. I was overwhelmed with grief for my actions, thinking how prideful I must be. On the other hand, I'm so thankful God is scraping this stuff out of my heart, so that my speech can be transformed.
"Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks"-Matthew 12:34
I want my heart to be pure, so that my speech can become pure!
Have I touched a nerve? If so, please bow your head and ask God to show you if you have a heart problem. He is listening and waiting for you to go to Him and show you exactly what you need to work on.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject!