Monday, April 6, 2009

What Makes a Good Listener?

This is Stella. She is under attack from the plastic army guys. The guys came on cupcakes. I turned down the cupcakes and asked if I could have an army dude... so everyone who took a cupcake in my lunch bunch gave me their plastic man. As you can see, Stella is winning. If you click on her and enlarge the photo, she is eating an odd army fellow that looks like he's an Italian mole man. We in the lunch bunch could not decide why he was so weird and not like the others. It seems that Stella saw him as a weak link in the attack. The American guy in front is trying to toss a grenade. The other sillier one in the rear thinks a rifle will do the trick. Plastic army guys don't watch horror movies or he would have known better.

I was thinking about someone today who is a very good listener. So I wondered what you folk thought made a good listener good. Here is what I think...

A good listener reads between the lines and asks relevant questions that help the person trying to communicate clarify their thoughts. A good listener is empathetic even if they have not had that experience themselves... by imagining what that problem feels like and what their response might be to it if they experienced it themselves. A good listener offers support without taking over the conversation. A good listener is not judgmental. A good listener gives honest responses tempered with kindness. I think listening happens when you read written things that come from the heart as well as hear words.

Do you agree? Have I missed something? I often miss things. But that is what I have been thinking about tonight. And the importance of having support. Those listeners... they are special people. I am not as good of a listener as I would like to be. However, I am trying to be better.

This is a short post for me. So here is my hope for you all tonight. I hope that God blesses you all with a kind ear when you need one and whatever support you need, when you need it, to get you through. I'll even put it in my prayers. And for my two good listeners, thank you, thank you.


  1. It depends on my mood. I can be a really great listener sometimes and others I don't really have the attentions span for it.

    I too am thankful for my friends who listen well.

  2. Um, did you say something?


    It's nice to finally have some time to visit other blogs and listen to what others have to say.

    Like Churlita said, it's mood related, but it's also partly related to the person doing the talking. Some folks aren't worth listening
    to and I avoid them like the plague.

  3. BTW it was nice to see that Stella still has her groove.

  4. Churlita-- I hear yah!

    Cube-- Stella thanks you. There was a Stanley T-Rex that wore a wife beater, but someone stole him away or maybe he took the street car.

  5. You are welcome.