The power of Truly Listening

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The power of truly listening - Marcus 2229

The content of my weekly blogs is drawn primarily from ancient Hebrew wisdom literature, while the 2020 format was inspired by James Clear’s “3-2-1” Thursdays. Building from my recent book UNBEATABLE! Seven Pillars of Personal Excellence, each week you will receive One Pillar/Proverb, One Principle and One Practical.

One Proverb

“He who answers before listening-that is his folly and his shame.”-Proverbs 18:13

One Principle

There is something different about George Floyd’s death. The pain felt by his family, friends, other African Americans and indeed many others of various races seemed to have reached the collective human heart with even more potency this time around, although every unjust killing is heartbreaking.

Here’s what I noticed as I’ve perused the global media coverage of this tragedy, which may very well turn out to be a catalyst for meaningful and sustainable change in the pursuit of worldwide racial equality: people are talking about becoming better listeners. From politicians to athletes, the message of connecting with others through hearing from our hearts, is being proclaimed. Outstanding quarterback in America’s National Football League (NFL) Drew Brees, apologized for making what he admitted were insensitive comments following Floyd’s death. I applaud his humility in taking responsibility. So did another NFL player, Malcolm Jenkins, who ESPN reported as saying the following words:  “Drew, as much as your comments hurt me and many other people, I appreciate you for listening, because being heard is a big part of it.”

People want to be heard. Minorities, the differently-abled, orphans, the homeless, victims of abuse, the poor and even the not-so-poor. We offer each other a life-giving act of service when listen patiently, intently and sincerely.

One Practical

There is someone in your life who needs you to be there for them as a great listener. Make yourself available, without delay.

To learn more about these pillars of personal excellence, read UNBEATABLE! which is now available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Ronke Cunningham

    This is timely Tyrone. Thanks for sharing. Just this afternoon, I took some time out to listen to a good friend of mine who for a long time has been asking me just to listen before making any pronouncements. After many months of praying and waiting, I finally made the call. That conversation healed not only her, but it helped me greatly. All I did was listen.

  2. J. Tyrone Marcus

    Wow. That’s a beautiful story Ronke. I truly want to grow in this area as I am realizing how much people appreciate being heard.

  3. Nanieno

    Thanks for Sharing Tyrone and Ronke… this continues to be a big issue for me as I see the harm I have done to my children when they feel like I am only waiting to answer and not truly listening. My attention to this area of my parenting makes a big difference in my relationship with my teenage daughter and my soon to be teenage son. Thanks much…

  4. J. Tyrone Marcus

    I appreciate your vulnerability Nanieno. I can relate to you since my almost 8-year old son keeps telling me, “Daddy, I was not finished talking yet.” Parenting has been a useful but humbling training ground for me.

    1. J. Tyrone Marcus

      Thank you for your thoughtful and mature perspectives Almando. This ministry of listening is perhaps one of the most underestimated ministries in the spiritual life. Like you, I want to stay on the path of growth in this area.

  5. Winsbert A. Quow

    Great thoughts Tyrone! It has been truly a benefit to my mental peace and relationships with others as I appreciate more the wisdom of truly listening before commenting. My natural tendency is to try to fix things. Therefore whenever someone is presenting a problem, my mind starts to process a solution soon after they start talking. But I have realized that taking this approach causes me to 1) miss the root cause of a problem, as effective listening requires focus — paying attention also to non-verbal cues ( tone, body language etc.) and 2) Offer solutions that are not solicited. Some people just want a sounding board. They already know the solution ( or at least one that they wish to pursue) to their problem and just want someone to hear them out and at a minimum ask some questions that will help them to solidify their plan. I have also learned that failure is an option and a great pathway to the right solution. My own fear of failure may result in me being overprotective of others who sometimes may need to fail in order to learn the invaluable lessons in the process.

  6. Donna

    Great article Tyrone. I for one am always looking for ways to be a better listener. In this whole George Floyd trauma, I have had to, as a Christian, tell myself to listen to all sides. If I don’t really listen, I will not hear and if I don’t hear, I won’t be able to make the differwnce God expects from me. Thanks for the timely reminder. Blessings.

  7. J. Tyrone Marcus

    Great observation Donna. Proper listening is indeed a precondition to effective living. Thank you.

  8. Dave Foster

    Failing to listen has robbed me of great opportunities to truly serve and meet the needs of those around me. It challenges me to hear that I shoot down ideas or suggestions. Thank you Tyrone for the reminder to take the time to not just hear what someone is saying but to listen!

    1. J. Tyrone Marcus

      Thanks for your humility Dave. Part of the joy of this growth journey is that we get to do so together.

  9. Shawn Carter

    Morning and thank you all for sharing.

    1. J. Tyrone Marcus

      You’re welcome Shawn.

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