I coach various pastors. I prepare myself by going over each pastor’s case study. Yet, lately the Lord has been showing me that my preparation should primarily prepare me to listen more effectively–not talk more. God has been showing me the critical nature of listening.
I don’t know about you, but I find my mind racing around when someone is talking. I have to admit, I often am subconsciously thinking about how I’m going to reply. I don’t like the uncomfortable silence that follows listening. Yet, the Lord has been showing me that listening to people (and not fearing the silence that follows) is critical to effective coaching.
And of course, this application goes way beyond coaching pastors. It applies to all of life. The most effective cell leaders know how to truly listen to their cell members.
Someone said that when you’re fifteen years old, you are concerned about what others think about you. When you’re forty-five you really don’t care what people think about you. When you’re sixty-five, you realize that no one was thinking about you anyway! The truth is, all of us spend most of our time thinking about ourselves. Effective listeners are able to stand back from self and really hear what the leader is saying. Listening involves separating yourself from the noise in order to truly hear your leader.
Are you able to step back from the hustle and bustle of your own life and concentrate on those around you? What are some techniques that you’ve utilized to make you a better listener?