“You never learn anything while you are telling the other person off,” says Robert Cook. One of Stephen Covey’s best chapters in The Seven Habits is, “Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood.” I don’t know who the wise man was that said, “Maybe the reason God gave us two ears and one mouth was so that we would listen twice as much as we talk.” Jesus spoke about discerning listening often with the phrase, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Have you used your ears much today? Did you listen to your spouse this morning? Did you really hear what your kids had to say? What has your co-worker, or boss, or employee said today that you didn’t really pay much attention to? What did God mean in that passage that you read allowed or heard from the audio Bible as you drove today? Did you misunderstand someone? We’re you already thinking about your response before you heard their heart? Did they even really get a chance to express themselves or were you in such a hurry, or being so impatient, that you settled the issue with your mouth before you understood it with your ears?
All of these are questions that we should review regularly. Why? Because plenty of wise people, including the most wise, have said that we need to hear the people around us. Why? Because you may be answering questions that no one is asking and leaving unanswered the inquiries that really matter to the people you love and need. Why? Because your Creator did you give one mouth and two years. What’s your ratio of talking to listening today? That’s Life at Work!