One of the things I daily strive to work on is the art of listening. Having been married to my wife for 19 years, I am very aware of my deficiencies in this skill. However, being a Pastor, one of my job requirements is to listen to people and to listen to God.
As a pastoral and biblical counselor, I have found three questions that help me listen to the people that I am trying to help navigate through this thing we call life.
Thanks to Brian Mavis, one of my coworkers, he simplified and put clear language to these three questions and I want to share them with you. I know there is more that can be done to help you listen to people, but these three questions are a great place to start.
3 Questions on Listening
1. How do you feel? (Explore it a bit... They need to name it and we need to reiterate it to them... Don't tell them they shouldn't feel that way...)
2. What do you need? (This helps people see a solution to their situation... Have them explore it - they need to do it themselves...)
3. How can this need be met? (We are not helping them answer this... They need to come up with the solution... It helps them come up with a path out of their pain...)
What methods or ways you recommend to be a better listener?