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Do you listen well?

THERE ARE AT least three levels of listening:

1.  No listening or nonlistening: This person has no awareness of the need to listen or to use a set of skills related to listening.  He is not hearing impaired, so he believes he is a listener.

2.  Focused listening: This listener is the type you do in polite conversation.  The listener looks at the speaker with interest and doesn’t interrupt him.  Most people prefer to speak, so focused listening is greatly valued and appreciated.

3.  Active listening: This type of listener will paraphrase or summarize what the other is speaking and it helps the speaker feel more deeply connected.  This type of listening fosters trust, communicates caring, and invites open dialogue.  Also it can clarify miscommunication and resolve conflict.  (Dallas and Nancy Demmitt)

“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”  James 1:19

Mike Benson

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