Theology Thursday 15 – Becoming a Great Listener


Theology Thursday 15 – Becoming a Great Listener

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There are some bad listeners in the Bible. Prime example, Lot’s wife. She and Lot were told not to look back at Sodom. Because she looks back she gets burned to a crisp and turned into a pillar of salt.

So how do we become great listeners? Watch TT15 to learn how to become a great listener.


What prohibits good listening?

  1. The Yardstick compares oneself with the speaker. Example: “I think I am smarter than this person.”
  2. The Mind Reader reads the speaker’s mind instead of hearing what they are saying. Example: “He said he liked it, but I can tell he didn’t.”
  3. Filtering is selective listening; only paying attention to what concerns you or to what you want to hear.
  4. Jumping to Conclusions is having ready-made ideas about an issue before the speaker states it. You may draw conclusions which are incorrect.
  5. Daydreaming is when the mind wanders and prohibits complete listening.
  6. Advising is working on a solution while the speaker is still talking.
  7. Boxing is picking out issues you disagree with by debating or “putting down” the speaker.
  8. The Winner will go to any length to be right about some thing or look for ways to twist the facts in order to be right.
  9. The Topic Shifter changes the subject before the speaker is done.
  10. 10.Pleasing is automatically agreeing with everything even before understanding it completely. –


How to become an active listener?

  1. Listen for message content:
    1. Try to hear exactly what is being said in the message
  2. Listen for feelings
    1. Try to identify how the sender feels in terms of the message content. Is the message pleasing or displeasing to the sender?
  3. Respond to the feeling
    1. Let the sender know that his/her feelings as well as the message content, are recognized
  4. Note all cues both verbal and non-verbal
    1. Be sensitive to the non-verbal communication cues as well as the verbal ones; identify mixed messages that need to be clarified.
  5. Reflect Back to the Sender, In Your Words, What You Think You Are Hearing
    1. Paraphrase and restate the verbal and non-verbal messages as feedback to which the sender can respond with further information.
    2. Formula for Content Alone:
      1. “You are saying……”
    3. Formula for Feeling Alone:
      1. “You feel……”
    4. Formula for Feeling and Content:
      1. “You feel…… because……”
    5. Change your questions into statements
      1. We are not necessarily stating a fact, but simply “our perception.” In order to relate to the speaker that we are actively listening and reflecting what we think, it is best to begin our statements with phrases such as:
        1. “It appears that …”
        2. “I sense…”
        3. “You seem….”
        4. “It looks to me like…”
        5. “What I hear you saying is…”
        6. You think