“The one who gives an answer before he listens— this is foolishness and disgrace for him.”

Proverbs 18:13 

Most of us have people in our lives who want to help us solve our problems before we can even clearly communicate what our problem may be. Hopefully, most of us have at least a few friends who will listen attentively and non-judgmentally, then contemplate carefully before giving us their response.

It is reasonable to want to be fully heard and understood. That’s why it’s important we exercise patience and withhold judgment when someone is talking. And, that’s why we must resist the temptation to voice our two-cents-worth before the other person has an opportunity to finish their complete thought. When we impatiently interrupt, we often inappropriately respond because we haven’t thoughtfully considered or fully understood the other person’s idea or situation.

It’s pride that often causes us to answer before completely hearing what someone has to say. When we listen to only one side of an issue or hear only part of a thought, we fall into the trap of speculation. Which often leads to judgment and conclusions that are unwarranted and destructive.

Is it time to fine-tune your listening skills?

Consider implementing these positive attributes into your next conversation:

1) Always allow others to complete their thoughts without interruption.

2) Always intentionally focus on what others are saying and avoid distractions.

3) Always try to understand the other person’s point of view before sharing yours.

4) Always control your emotions and communicate genuine care while listening.

Genuine communication happens when we listen thoughtfully and respond appropriately.