Have you ever held a conversation with someone who repeatedly cuts you off or talks over-top of you? They may attempt to finish your sentences, or chime in as if they know what you’re going to say next or even talk at the same time as you, attempting to use the very words coming from your mouth.
When my son was a child, he had a habit of cutting me off while I spoke, as most children do. At those moments, I would gently admonish him with the words, “learn to listen.” I would go on to instruct him on how failing to listen could cost him valuable information. There are those who once you cut them off will not complete their sentence, and you will never know what would have come next. In some instances, the not knowing could prove to be a grave mistake.
In later years, a very wise woman put a label to what I was trying to teach my son about listening, she called it “Active Listening.” “Active Listening,” is giving someone our undivided attention while they speak; taking ourselves completely out of the equation and focusing solely on what they’re saying. It is listening with our mouths closed and our ears open.
In the Bible, the book of James chapter one verse nineteen instructs us to “…. be quick to listen and slow to speak …” I believe if we actively listen to whomever is speaking, all we need to know will be revealed. Interrupting can and will inadvertently change the direction of a conversation. The person speaking may have limited time to convey a message or even ask for help.
I can recall once phoning a relative to notify them of a death in our family. Before I could begin my sentence, she cut me off and started a completely different conversation, unaware of what I was about to say. I paused, and then informed her, I needed her to listen to me. Once I had her attention, I apprised her of the death.
The next time you find yourself involved in a dialogue, think twice before interjecting. Take a deep breath and hold your peace, allowing the other person to finish. Learning The Art of Active Listening isn’t easy and is an ongoing process but as with anything, repetition breeds habit. Once you begin to master The Art of Active Listening, you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll learn.
As always in closing, I wish you a peaceful night.
By Savannah Jackson, she adds a little sass in every page.