Speak less and say more

Wisdom is the reward for a lifetime of listening… when you’d have preferred to talk” DJ Kaufman

I confess I’m a bit of a talker. A bit might be an understatement, I love to talk. I was speaking three word sentences before I could walk, and I talking during class has always been a trouble-spot.

That being said, you should know that nothing I have ever said has really taught me anything. I’m not saying I have nothing to say, or that others have not learned from what I’ve said, what I am saying is; I don’t learn by speaking, I learn by listening. Even the, “learn from what I should or should not have said” lessons, only became lessons when I listened to the response and reaction of others, or to my remorse. Talking doesn’t teach me anything. I can’t learn until I am willing to listen.

The irony is, when I listen I actually have more to say, AND…. I actually say more. Here are 5 things listening says without saying anything:

  1. I’m not the only one with something to say.
  2. I value what you contribute.
  3. I trust you enough to speak into my life.
  4. I’ve got room to grow.
  5. I’m open to how that growth might happen.

In no way is this an exhaustive list, but it sure got me thinking of all the things I say when I am just willing to listen. It’s no wonder the Bible tells us, be quick to listen but slow to speak. Listeners are learners, and learners have something to say.

Join this conversation

What are some other things you say when you listen or hear when others listen to you? Do you agree that you don’t learn from speaking? Why or why not?

Praying God will give us ears that hear this week.