The Power of Listening

I have often found it hard to avoid the temptation of telling people how to do something they are attempting to do in a different way. Different from the way I do it, of course! It has to be easier or I wouldn’t be doing it this way, right? At least, that is what the logical sense side of my brain screams to me. It almost seems natural to tell others our way of doing, seeing, being, etc. 

What I have been slow to learn is that we all have ideas on how to do something and many times if we are just present with someone and observing their efforts, we bring a lot to the table. Many of us are overdue for a few “attaboy” pats on the back and are overwhelmed with the telling feature of others.

I’ve learned that asking people questions about what they are doing or how they decided to do a certain task or project is a great way to offer encouragement and acceptance. I am now convinced that people need encouragement much more than they need instruction.

Asking a question and then giving someone the latitude to share their thoughts on it offers acceptance of the differences we have from others. Listening without mentally focusing on how we are going to tell them to do it a better way can bond us together in deeper ways. Active listening offers people the respect and courtesy to share their hearts and ideas without feeling corrected or as if they are in need of “fixing”.

I’ve heard it said that if you give someone 15 minutes to speak, they will tell you everything that is important to them. How much more value could we bring to our relationships if we offered the gift of listening to people who are important to us, and then using what we learn to offer encouragement in their endeavors?

Think about it. People often point out the mistakes, flaws and errors they see in others or in situations. How often do you hear someone comment on how enjoyable something they experienced proved to be? It’s refreshing, but rare.

Take every opportunity to develop the strength of character that is found in truly listening. People will be drawn to you as you, in turn, encourage them and open your heart to share the things you value.

If we pass this idea on to others, we may just find that listening is the most favored of all of the love languages.

Oh, and thanks for listening to my ramblings!

Sheri Geyer is a Realtor and Christian Life Coach.

If this has been an encouragement to you, please share @Sheri_Geyer. Thank you!

Reflections for 2017

Here we are ~ the end of another year of activities, events, victories, defeats, hopes, plans, some realized, some not ~ the beginning of a new year filled with hope, some trepidation, the ability to start with a clean slate, and the opportunity to grow and learn.

I have pretty much eradicated the making of New Year’s Resolutions from my life. Not so much that I think it’s a bad thing, but I have found that it is an easy way for me to experience a defeat fairly early in the year and I’d like to avoid the disappointment.

What I have found to bring success regarding changes for the coming new year is to journal my thoughts so that I am able to aim my focus on some important areas in my life and ask God for wisdom to know what to replace or add that will be the best use of my time, energy and resources.

After careful review of these important areas, I reflect on how I can learn, grow and more positively impact each area by making better choices or simply continuing with some that are working well. This is a good time for a chat with a close friend or mentor to determine what to embrace, fine tune or remove. This has proven to be very helpful for me.

I want to make it a priority to spend time reflecting over my life and thinking on the many blessings I have been given. A new year full of new beginnings always gets me excited! I love that ‘clean-slate-start-fresh’ feeling.

Whatever your year-end or new year tradition, I hope you will allow your heart and mind to find a quiet place to rest, reflect and be refreshed. As you scan the horizon of 2017, remember that living a life of thankfulness for all God has done and will do prepares you to face each challenge with an optimistic determination that it will work together for good. And consider it preparation for whatever lies ahead.

I look forward to all the new year brings! May yours be the best you could imagine!

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach and Realtor on The Geyer Home Team in Savannah, Georgia.