To answer before listening—
that is folly and shame. Proverbs 18:13
I had a discussion with a client the other day about her interactions with her husband. She noted that they can easily get into a defensive posture with one another when they are talking about some relational matters.
This got me to thinking about my own method of communication. When I am in discussion with others, am I in “convincing mode” or “listening mode”? When we are in “convincing mode” we are not as able to hear the views of another. We are more intent upon getting the other person to accept my way of seeing things. This is not a bad thing- we all want to be heard and have influence on others. Yet, when we are full-on in convincing mode, we just don’t hear another’s viewpoints quite as well.
So, it is important to hear another, to be in “listening mode”, before we get into convincing mode. Self-awareness is important in having real discussions with others, of course. Then we can have full understanding and better, more meaningful and fulfilling conversations.
Prayer: Lord, help us to see the mode we are in, and always listening to your wisdom first, Amen.