In my last post, I discussed differing opinions or ideas and how these can drive a wedge between people we focus on issues rather than putting or focus on people. This time, I want to share a critical component that helps us focus on people first. LISTENING.
Think about a recent disagreement with someone. Where was your focus during the conversation? Were you focusing on your thoughts or ideas about the issue, or were you focusing on understanding the other person? Here are some essential thoughts from Tim Kight about being a disciplined listener rather than an undisciplined one.
- Undisciplined listeners think about some other priority, some different topics, that’s on their mind during the conversation.
- Undisciplined listeners spend time during the conversation pre-planning what they’re going to say and wait for the other person to stop (or just take a breath) so they can interject their own story.
- Undisciplined listeners are running social commentary in their head about the person talking. They are thinking, “he always says this,” or “here he goes again.”
- Disciplined listeners control their focus during conversations. They shift from their opinions to what the other person is saying.
- Disciplined listeners manage their self-talk. They make sure their inner voice is not speaking about their ideas or agenda. A disciplined listener makes their self-talk curious about what the other person is saying. Your inner voice should be focused on clarifying to understand the speaker better!
To avoid conflict, especially in difficult times, we must make sure we listen to understand before we react. Irritation in others is usually more about your opinions rather than the event itself.
Stay safe, and take care!!