I was out running at my in-laws’ log cabin in eastern Oklahoma, and I asked God for a word. A word that would give focus to the year ahead. All I heard was the rustling pines and chirping birds. Minutes passed. Some squirrels foraging in the leaves. An airplane. The natural sounds around me and above me grew louder and I heard it clearly: Listen.
Joey told me I was a bad listener when we first started dating. Rude! 😉
This stung a little, but impacted me. I have a listening problem?
I’ve noticed I tend to teach, coach, encourage, or correct my kids and clients…and my business partners and Joey and my friends instead of listening to them. I get paid to boss people around, and I think, as a result, I have developed a listening problem.
One of my clients at Sky Fitness & Wellbeing in Tulsa was an executive coach. He gave me a copy of his book, The People Project. The first chapter was about asking more questions and giving less answers in business. Why was this rocket science to me? I must have a listening problem.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Philippians 2: 3-5
If I truly believe others are more important than me, then what they have to say is more important than what I have to say. So I should be “quick to listen and slow to speak.” James 1:19
In 2018, I will:
- Listen to my kids’ stories without interrupting, no matter how nonsensical
- Make eye contact with Joey and listen. Ask good questions.
- Listen to business prospects’ concerns, dreams, and desires and consider them valid. Ask questions that help them develop their own decisions.
- Listen to how my clients are really doing. Pray over them during training.
- Ask my friends good questions that let them know they are loved and valued…and then listen to their response.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
Above all, I will listen more to God’s voice. It’s within me and through me. The Voice who spoke light into darkness at the very beginning and that Voice who, on the boat, told the storm to “hush,” is within me. Wow. I want to be so tuned in to His whisper that all other voices go mute.
LISTEN. My one word for 2018. What’s yours?
Other “one word” blog posts: