To Listen Well, Rely On Your Eyes

Randall Davey

 Dr. Tim Stearman, leader, pastor, storyteller, conference speaker, humorist and friend, says, “If you really want to listen well, rely on your eyes.” His sermon-in-a-sentence convicts me and helps me. Here are a few of his salient points: 

  • Always, always maintain eye contact with the person talking. Remember:
    • Eyes can speak loudly, even when the speaker is silent. 
    • Eyes are a window to the soul. 
  • Don’t fall prey to the temptation to:
    • look at your cell phone to see who is calling, texting or e-mailing; 
    • make eye contact with someone else still waiting in line to talk with you; 
    • stare without looking; there is a distinct difference. 
  • Realize that your eyes can communicate belief or doubt, interest or indifference, love or hate. 

When you listen with your eyes, 

  1. speakers feel valued, respected and honored; 
  2. they feel heard, acknowledged and understood; 
  3. they even describe it as an emotionally intimate experience. 

Tim went on to say that sometimes listening is simply keeping one’s mouth shut when: 

  • I don’t know what someone is talking about. 
  • I disagree with a perspective, opinion or suggestion. 
  • I don’t have an opinion. 
  • I don’t particularly care about the topic. 

“Yet, these four instances are not an occasion for me to listen half-heartedly,” he went on. “I fundamentally care that another person finds value in talking with me and I’ll honor them with my listening. To the best of my ability, I try to give the speaker my undivided attention. Sometimes that’s the only thing I have to give.” 

If you want to really listen well, rely on your eyes. You may see what someone is saying even before you hear a word they say. That’s what Tim does. I want to be more like Tim. 

Randall E. Davey, CAP® is a financial advisor with Guide Advisors, Inc. In certain circumstances, he may offer insurance as a sole proprietor or through Guide Advisors, Inc. He resides with his wife, Bonnie in Mesa, Arizona. Randall can be reached at or by phone at 425.478.5668. 

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