The Lost Art of Listening

My favorite book I read while in my psych training was “The Lost Art of Listening.” I don’t know when it was an art, but it certainly has been lost in this tweeting, posting, texting world. As we become adept at expressing ourselves in ever briefer terms, the question is – Is anyone listening? And does it matter to us anymore?

Listening can be such a powerful instrument in the life of a person, a relationship, or a community. Its importance is confirmed in scripture – “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).

In my work I see the power of listening every day. It has the power to heal, affirm, empathize, and even clarify. When one person listens deeply, the other has the freedom to go deeper, to understand to new depths, and to know acceptance at deeper levels.

I’m not a very frequent blogger because I desire dialogue, not monologue. The listener is key. If anyone has ‘listened’ to this, I’d love to know. Thanks for listening.

9 Comments on “The Lost Art of Listening”

  1. It’s so true. Few know how to listen well. Those who do are treasures. It’s an art and might we say, also, a discipline? I find it hard to listen closely to people as we visit at church before or after the worship service. My eyes want to wander around to see who is coming and going. It takes real determination to stay focused (eyes and thoughts) on the person speaking. And that’s not even a deep conversation.

    You listen well, Lynn. May we all develop more and more of that art, that discipline, that skill, of listening, well.

  2. I hear you. Makes me feel happy just to have you know how important simple listening is. Someone said: “love looks so much like listening, you can hardly tell the difference.”

  3. I fully agree with you, Lynn. I do wonder how you define listening and how that gets integrated into a good dialog, as you’ve noted you prefer a dialog to a monologue. How does turn taking in dialogue intersect with listening well?

    1. Listening is essential to good dialogue. Without it the result is merely parallel monologues. An all too frequent phenomenon. Parallel monologues do not deepen connectedness, nor do they lead to greater understanding and acceptance.

  4. Thank you, Lynn. Yes, nothing is more powerful than a person truly listening 100%, with heart and mind engaged. God uses us for healing in one another’s lives, with care, compassion, understanding, acceptance. I appreciate you.

  5. I’ll post this here too so others know someone is listening. Looking forward to future posts!

Leave a Reply to Feikje Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *