I am a listener. I listen more than I speak. My first training ground for this noble profession was during my college years when I had to stay in a house with my best friend and bosom. I must say that the three of us love speaking our thoughts, opinions, and experiences at the SAME time. We seemed to all love speaking rather listening. One time, I just set aside my stories and command myself to listen to their stories. From then on, I started to see the beauty and essence of listening.
I listen more to people’s stories but I rarely share my stories. And if you happen to know my stories, then you must be a SOMEONE in my life. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not hiding too much secrets. I’m not just used in sharing all things in my life to ALL the people. But lately – I’m starting to unhide the inner me through writing. But only the inner me that people might get some good lessons. I have a friend who seemed to be so reserved but speak her thoughts. She learned to open up her adventures, write them down, tell it to her friends, and open up. And I adore her for that.
I love true stories when listening. Not gossips. I read somewhere about a pastor’s preaching on a story of a non-christian gossiper turned to a “Christian” gossiper. When she was a non-christian, she would speak about stories of a certain person to a certain group of persons – normal gossips scenario. When she became Christian and got to know more of Christ, she was so conscious of worldy gossips. Thus, avoiding gossips she was into before. So when she learned about a brethren talking about someone’s fault, she would say to a group of person, “let’s pray for her….blah blah blah” . Did you see the difference? Now the question is do they have a difference? No, they don’t have ANY difference. Both scenarios are gossips. I am GUILTY of this and NOT putting an exemption to myself. But day by day, I am taking note of this principle: If you are not part of the problem or the solution, do not involve yourself.
I hate to listen to destructive criticisms. Corrections are highly needed in any field and scenarios whether you are in a school, office, or church. In same way, correctors are everywhere and greatly needed. These could be your church leaders, mentors, team leaders, colleague, friends, or anyone around you. It feels good when someone corrects you because it means that that someone likes you to be better. That’s why I like corrections or constructive criticisms. On the other hand, I hate destructive criticisms. I see it as useless, nonsense, and unhelpful. Sometimes, a destructive criticism became constructive and a constructive criticism became destructive criticism – without proper delivery. A simple technique may apply: Talk FIRST to the person involve. As much as possible, make it a close door discussion. If it didn’t work – make the necessary steps to move up in the ladder of authority.
Listening is important. In communication, you must first learn to value and learn listening to effectively communicate. In friendship and relationship, it gives way to understanding that we mostly missed when we are too rush to deliver our words. Slowing down and listening attentively gives way to the other person to better express his heart.
Listen more, speak less. As Oliver Wendell Holmes said; “It is the province of knowledge to speak and the privilege of wisdom to listen.”