Listening to Understand

Good afternoon – still haven’t quite gotten back into my rhythm of posting yet. A move really shakes things up!

As I mentioned before, as part of my orientation here at Ambassador Enterprises is the reading of and reporting on a series of excellent books. The one I just finished was To Understand Each Other by Paul Tourner. The focus of this book is understanding each other in the context of marriage, but so much of it is applicable to other relationships as well.

He goes beyond simply hearing or even listening to working (hard) to understand one another. The first criteria he mentions is that we must actually want to understand the other person in order for it to happen. That really struck me hard – you have to want it! It just doesn’t happen, so I began to ask myself if I truly desired to understand others. You should also seek to first to understand others before you seek to be understood. An others first mentality.

Courage is also key in understanding one another. Are you courageous enough to expose yourself to someone else that you are close to and are seeking to understand? Are you willing to let them really see you as you are? That takes courage – even between husband and wife.

At some level, we all want to be truly understood by someone – we want to be known by someone. To do that, you have to be very, very intentional. Also, it is a journey, not a destination.

So “be strong and very courageous” and seek to truly understand those closest to you and to be understood. Your life will be so much richer and effective as a result.