“The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces.” (Proverbs 10:8 NLT)
Being a good listener is a beautiful way to take your faith to work. There is another essential element to listening, which is being not only open but glad to receive instruction.
To review, last week we considered ways to improve our listening skills. These tips included giving focused attention, resisting the urge to interrupt, using physical cues to indicate you are listening, and asking for clarification. The next steps involve being open to receiving instruction and being glad about it! These demonstrate not only good listening skills but respect and wisdom.
This past week at work, I encountered numerous situations where I benefited from instruction from my staff. Whether it was scheduling new programs, how to deal with a problematic person, or decisions needing to be made regarding staffing or marketing material. Sometimes it was practical advice. Other times it was the encouragement to do what I felt was the right thing. Over the week, as I listened to the words said, I also listened to their intent to determine the best solutions. And as I appreciated their good advice, loyalty, commitment, and care, I was glad to be instructed.
Although we may feel strongly about a situation, we must also respect that others have things to say.
Although we may feel we have a lot of knowledge, we can always learn more and should not assume we have all the knowledge needed.
Although we may believe we have the correct answer, being open to others’ ideas helps ensure we make the best decisions. And we should be glad to have had their input!
Let’s recap three ways we can bring our faith to work by examining the wisdom in Proverbs 10.8:
A Person who Speaks Wisely
Is quick to listen, slow to speak
Knows when to stop talking
Is glad to receive instruction
A Person who Babbles Foolishly
Is quick to speak, slow to listen
Usually talks non-stop
Prefers to give instruction
Let’s commit to putting all three points together this week at work in our conversations.
Taking This to God in Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, there is so much we can learn about speaking and listening wisely. In every conversation at work this week, help me to now only listen to the words but appreciate the person behind them - their interest and loyalty. Help me demonstrate that I am glad to receive their instruction. In this way, we honor You and bless others. May I also be open to hearing Your wise instruction and putting it into practice each and every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
May God richly bless you this week as you honor Him and bless others with the words you say, how you listen, and how you gladly receive instruction.
Have a great week!
Bonny, Christian Women at Work