When I first set out to become a Certified Coach I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was somewhat familiar with coaching and witnessed the power of coaching to transform and empower an individual. These were the things that drew me to Leadership coaching. One of the first courses I took made me realize I was deeply lacking in one critical area, listening.
Up until then, I thought I was a pretty good listener and every once in a while would pick up some good tips on how to improve my listening skills. These were things like listen intentionally, make eye contact, nod and reflect, etc. We’ve all come across these as we seek to improve our listening skills. As a D (DISC) personality, my default is to get to the point, get it done and move on.
During that first coaching course I could almost smell my brain frying as I struggled to undo so many bad habits and rewire my thought process. I almost contemplated quitting half way into the course because I just didn’t “get it”. But this was a calling and the Lord and my wife told me to stick it out. So glad I did! The burnt smell coming from my brain was not due to it melting down but rather, the demolishing of outdated infrastructures and building of new neural roadways.
In time I learned how to truly listen. I learned the power of listening with intention, curiosity and more importantly, excusing myself from the conversation. This may sound disconnected but when you learn to listen, the focus is on the other person’s wants and needs. It’s not about you solving the problem for them. It’s about being there for them. James 1:19 reminds us to be slow to speak and quick to listen. I can testify that my marriage and relationship with my boys has drastically improved because I learned to listen.
Before we start to listen, remember that God is always listening to us when we pray. He’s the ultimate example of a real listener.
How can you be more Christ like in your listening. Read Proverbs 1:5 for insight.
What steps will you take today to listen to your loved one, friend, family etc?