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Friday, March 8, 2013

Learning To Listen Before Reacting In Relationships

In summary of Proverbs 19:11 it says, “Good sense makes a man restrain his anger, and it is his glory to overlook a wrongdoings or an offense.”

Bottom Line:
A wise and sensible person controls their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.

What this means to me:
Often when I hear something that rubs me wrong or someone is upset with me, I can easily get angered.  His Word reminds me that it is wise and sensible for me to control my temper / hold my tongue and then to be as patient as possible with others.  This change in focus will go a long way toward assisting and restoring a strained relationship.  It shows sympathy and care when I take time to see things from the other person’s point of view.   The overall concept is for me to listen more than I speak.  I should focus on how they feel, just listen and let them unload emotionally without me being defensive.  It’s is better to acknowledge that I understand.  This doesn’t mean that I always have to agree.   True listening communicates, "I value your opinion, I care about our relationship, and you matter to me."  People won't care what I know until they know I care.  When I can control this, I will earn respect from the individual and likely from others around who witness it.  This process is consistent with one of Steven Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” which states, “seek first to understand, then be understood!”  I have found this to be true in my life time after time.  This simple principle even makes running routine meetings go well.  It is much better to listen so that they feel they are understood.  Once they feel they are understood they are much more open to listening to alternate options I have or I may even have a clear enough mind to perhaps change my position.  God, I ask you to help me in my quest to be wise in controlling my anger, and to listen more than I speak..