Take this following quiz adapted from Stephen’s Ministry Training as a way to ascertain your understanding of active listening…
The answers are at the end of the quiz!
If you are having a hard time hearing the person you are listening to due to noise around you, you should listen harder. (It would be rude to interrupt the person you are listening to for the sake of a quieter setting. T F
Long silences are destructive to caring listening and tend to erode the trust that the person being heard has in the Listener. T F
Sometimes you will learn more about the other person’s thoughts and feelings by his or her tone of voice and body language than you will from actual words said. T F
It would be mentally valuable to review previous conversations you have had as a listener with this person before getting together. T F
Active Listening means carrying on a conversation while you are jogging or doing aerobics. T F
An open ended question is one for which there simply is no answer. T F
Questions that begin with the word why can make people feel defensive. T F
When it comes to reflecting, a tape recorder or a parrot could do as good of a job as a good listener. T F
When you do reflective listening, it is a good practice to use a number of different lead-ins, rather than just always beginning with a statement such as, “What I hear you saying is…” T F
Reflecting spiritual concerns is a way to force people to admit their sin and need for a Savior. T F
Answer to Question #1
If you can’t hear, wait for a pause and explain humbly that you would like to find a place more quiet. The same is true of finding a confidential space, a safe space or a more comfortable location.
Answer to Question #2
Actually, it is in some of the silent spaces that the hearer may be thinking or even listening to promptings from God’s heart to them. Or you as the listener may be doing the same. It can be in those silent moments that new insights form.
Answer to Question #3
It is often the case that tone and body language can be more accurate ways to understand the words being said. At the very least, they can spur more insightful questions from the listener.
Answer to Question #4
Such a mental review helps the listener over time to recognize changes in what is said or how it is said.
Answer to Question #5
Actually, active listening is a way of listening to the whole person in order to understand him or herself as well as possible.
Answer to Question #6
An open ended question is a question that requires an easy like response rather then single-word or short answer. Open ender questions allow the Listener to hear more of the thoughts and feelings of the person they are listening to.
Answer to Question #7
Why questions require people to justify what they have been thinking or feeling. This can put them on the defensive. More gentler words are how and what.
Answer to Question #8
When you are listening reflectively, you are not just repeating back their words. Rather you are summarizing what you believe they are thinking or feeling by using your own words. A real must if the other person is to feel heard.
Answer to Question #9
If we use the same lead-in it can sound mechanical and uncaring for it sounds like you are more tied to a process then their responses.
Answer to Question #10
Reflective listening is a way to invite the person you are listening to, to say more about his or her thoughts, feelings, or spiritual concerns. If you try to force someone to talk about something so deeply personal as their spiritual concerns, they may stop trusting you altogether.
So how did you do? Remember humility is the door for grace. Good listening should be more about their story then ours! We rely on God to direct our words as he sees fit. After all, the wisdom of of the world is foolishness in God’s eyes. So let us focus on giving that safe place of being heard as our first gift.