Julian Treasure, a sound and communication expert, said “the art of conversation is being replaced-dangerously I think- by personal broadcasting.” He’s referring to the danger of all talk, and no listening.
Treasure suggests we remember the acronym RASA. “RASA stands for "Receive," which means pay attention to the person; "Appreciate," making little noises like "hmm," "oh," "OK"; "Summarize" -- the word "so" is very important in communication; and "Ask," ask questions afterwards.”
Finally, hear the advice of scripture about listening.
“If one gives answer before hearing, it is folly and shame”. Proverbs 18:13
Don’t simply be working out your answer while the other person is speaking. Deeply listen and try to understand what another person says.
“You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger;” James 1:19
After you’ve heard what someone has to say, don’t rush to answer. Don’t rush to judge. Don’t rush to argue. Slow down. Take a minute. Getting angry? Take another.
Finally, if you spend more time listening to God, it makes it a lot easier to listen well when others start talking.
To read more about being a better listener, consider reading:
Rev. Jana Quisenberry is the minister at Brightwood Christian Church. She's an ordained pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). A graduate of Transylvania University in Lexington, KY and Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, IN, She now resides in Mt. Lebanon with her husband, two children, and dog, Sookie. Pastor Jana loves the church, science fiction, and coffee.
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