Listen More, Talk Less

The Seattle Times included an article today entitled “Shhh: Pope urges silence to communicate better.” What a great reminder for coaches.

As Susan Scott says in Fierce Conversations, “Let the silence do the heavy lifting.” New coaches often feel the need to talk. Others like to hear their own voice and assume others will too.

However, one of our best tools as coaches is using silence to communicate.

Shhh: Pope urges silence to communicate better
Pope Benedict XVI is asking everyone to quiet down.

By
NICOLE WINFIELD
Associated Press

VATICAN CITY —

Pope Benedict XVI is asking everyone to quiet down.

In his annual communications message released Tuesday, Benedict extolled the sounds of silence. He said a little bit of quiet makes people better listeners and better communicators by giving them more time to think about what they are hearing and saying.

And in a world inundated by Tweets and 24-hour news coverage, that precious time to think and reflect gives words greater value, he said.

“Joy, anxiety and suffering can all be communicated in silence – indeed it provides them with a particularly powerful mode of expression,” he said in his written message.

Benedict has in recent years used his annual communications message to comment on social media. He has urged priests to blog and Catholics who spread the faith on Facebook and other social networks to be respectful of others.

This year, his attention turned to the need to occasionally tune out the social media information overload to allow time for greater reflection. He called for striking a balance between silence, words, images and sounds.

“By remaining silent, we allow the other person to speak, to express him or herself, and we avoid being tied simply to our own words and ideas without them being adequately tested,” he said.
(Read the full article).

I can’t help but reflect on James 1:19 – “But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.”
I often tell coaches that listening is a gift that we give to someone. Don’t you appreciate being listened to? And aren’t you frustrated when someone isn’t listening?

In a coaching conversations, we must be intentional and truly focused on listening. We also have to turn off our own voice to actually hear what is begin said. We pay attention to the words, tone, and body language, as well as noting the situation, emotions, and behaviors.

Excellent coaches are excellent at listening!
If you want to grow in your coaching skills – consider the Core Coaching Skills Certificate Program.

Today’s Missional Challenge

Listen to someone. Truly listen to them. Be slow to speak and quick to listen!

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Author

Dave DeVries

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Dr. Dave DeVries is a coach, trainer, author and founder of Missional Challenge. He is passionate about coaching and training church planters and missional leaders. With 30+ years of church planting and leadership development experience, Dave brings his passion and encouragement to those he trains and coaches.
4 replies
  1. Кэмерон ДеЧанд
    Кэмерон ДеЧанд says:

    Just me personally, but I know I haven't been listening as much as I probably should. The world keeps coming in and distracting me, and the best way to block it out is to make noise. Guess it's back to the old fashion way of just shutting everything out and having a good ol' chat with God.

  2. carlou2
    carlou2 says:

    This is so neat to see someone in such a powerful position encouraging people to do this. Usually people in high positions are the ones who are NEVER quiet with always something to say. He has a great point though. I think people love to hear their own voice, I know I do, but it really is a true gift and touching to have someone listen to me. What a great challenge!

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