In Others’ Words: The Reward of Listening

Just Rewards 2017

I enjoy a good conversation, don’t you?

The give and take. The exchange of ideas. The back and forth of opinions. I don’t even mind if things get a bit heated, so long as people are respectful of one another. I especially enjoy talking and laughing with people. That is the best of times.

But sometimes when I’m with a group of friends or even if I’m in a large group of people, like at a writers conference, I sit back and just listen. And those times, when I don’t say anything at all, are some of my most memorable conversations. I learn something new about a friend. I glean a bit of truth I hadn’t realized before. I realize something about myself reflected in someone else’s words or actions — something I need to change, or something I need to do more often.

Oh sure, I could have added my proverbial two cents to any of those conversations, but I often realize what I wanted to say wouldn’t have enriched the exchange of ideas all that much. 

And somehow I’m encouraged by not talking. I know someone else better … or I know myself better. Wiser for listening.

In Your Words: What wisdom have you earned from listening?

 

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8 Comments

  1. April 18, 2017, 12:08 am   /  Reply

    The wisdom I have learned from listening is that I don’t enjoy conversation, but I do enjoy listening.

    No one ever learned anything with their mouth open.

    • April 18, 2017, 7:12 am   /  Reply

      Andrew: Well said, my friend. “No one ever learned anything with their mouth open.”

  2. Gail Hollingsworth
    April 18, 2017, 9:01 am   /  Reply

    I’ve always heard the reason God gave us two ears and only one mouth, was because it was more important to listen.
    At my father in laws recent funeral the pastor asked his son and daughter what was the one bit of wisdom that their father had taught them. My sister in law said he told her to listen more and talk less which got a good laugh from those who knew her. She rarely took that advice!

    • April 18, 2017, 10:00 am   /  Reply

      Oh, that’s funny, Gail!
      And yes, I read that quote about one ear and two mouths as I was looking for the quote for today’s blog post. 🙂

  3. April 18, 2017, 11:36 am   /  Reply

    And this is wisdom right here: “I could have added my proverbial two cents to any of those conversations, but I often realize what I wanted to say wouldn’t have enriched the exchange of ideas all that much.” Knowing when our ideas add value to a conversation and when to just listen. I’m still learning this. 🙂

    I’ve learned to value others’ thoughts and opinions through listening. When I stop to really listen to others’ thoughts, I discover a deeper understanding to things I believe, and I also gain a broader perspective. I like this. 🙂

    • April 20, 2017, 7:30 am   /  Reply

      Jeanne: And that’s the key right there: learning to value others’ thoughts and opinions through listening. Talking, talking, talking displays an inherent lack of value for the other person, don’t you think?

  4. April 18, 2017, 1:31 pm   /  Reply

    You are w/o doubt one of the best supportive sensitive listeners I know anywhere, and the resulting relationship(s) are so rewarding. Blessings and love your way on every level!

    • April 20, 2017, 7:31 am   /  Reply

      Thank you for this, Dee.

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