The green-eyed three year old bubbled over with words but Mama firmly told her to "wait her turn" to speak. At the next pause, she jumped in with her thoughts.
As children we learn such conversation etiquette that carries into our adult exchanges. However, this pattern often leads us to focus more on what we are waiting to say than the ideas shared by the speaker.
One strategy that works well for me is listening closely so that I might pose questions or offer thoughtful comments. Listening for understanding wordlessly conveys the worth of the speaker and affirms their value in the eyes of God.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger (James 1:19).
Vice President of Communication 2009–2013