#1) Listen with Grace. We need to be willing to listen to the other person without judgement or assumption. We must give the other person our full and undivided attention.
When a person comes to us because they feel they need our advice or help, it is a great compliment. It signals that they trust us or respect us.
We need to LISTEN: “to hear something; to pay attention”
With GRACE: “mercy; divine love; protection”
We need to give them our full attention. To do that, we need to follow these simple rules:
1) Move away from anything that would distract us and keep us from listening to them. Move away from our phone, computer screen, even separate ourselves from other people in the room. Turn our bodies toward them. Face them. Close a door if possible. If we are too busy to escape distraction in our thoughts, then set another time to have the discussion. We need to be able to really listen to them if we hope to help them in a meaningful way.
2) Keep our eyes on them and try to listen to every word they say. We should not be forming our answer while they are still talking. Ask questions to clarify anything that causes us to guess, or anything we don’t understand. We can’t assume anything. We need to make sure we understand what they are saying. Maybe we will need to repeat back to them what we thought they said before we form our answer. Make their time of talking an information gathering time for us.
3) Don’t judge them. Their problem may be embarrassing or difficult for them to admit or discuss. We need to make it easy to discuss it with us. We need to be aware of our body language, things like crossed arms, pulling back, facial expressions, and flares of anger or disappointment that may indicate disapproval. This does not mean we need to approve of their actions. They will indicate whether they feel it was wrong or not. they are probably talking with us because they know they were wrong or they already know where we stand. Love them and listen to them. Maybe we can help them.
They are coming to us because they need help. Let’s be sure we listen to them so we can help them!