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,
- speakers feel valued, respected and honored;
- they feel heard, acknowledged and understood;
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 425.478.5668.
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