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INTRODUCTION

In our last serial, we concluded on the most effective way by which the speaker can communicate to the listener to ensure the achievement of his overall aim and goals. In this section, we shall be considering the receiving end of the listener and the most effective way to get the message intended from the speaker. This is a skill the Bible emphasizes for us. (James 1:19, Rev. 2:7).

WHAT IS EFFECTIVE LISTENING?

Listening involves decoding language, interpreting the non-verbal hidden messages, clarifying ambiguous ones, and understanding the other person’s point of view. Just like communication from the speaker requires skills and techniques to be effective, so does listening too has techniquestoo be effective. The various techniques of effective listening that will be considered in this series include attentive skills, supportive followership of the speaker, and reflective listening.

In evangelism and mentoring of disciples, you need to listen effectively to the responses of people to lead them forward. We shall consider these techniques and skills in the following sections.

ATTENTIVE SKILLS

Underlying all good listening skills is a healthy relationship, an attitude of real interest and openness to the speaker. Some important behaviours or attitudes the listener must cultivate that will show to the speaker that you are listening will be treated in this section. Firstly, give some primacy to the speaker’s needs, and be open to whatever he says, even if you disagree or lack interest. Secondly, lean towards the speaker with an open posture, and look at the speaker, maintaining eye contact. Thirdly, create time and space for the speaker and respond appropriately or relevantly.

Finally, notice your own and the speaker’s verbal and non-verbal reactions, but do not get hooked by them and avoid distractions as much as possible.

A SUPPORTIVE FOLLOWING AUDIENCE

The most important task of the listener is to give support to the speaker to tell his story. The following skills are good for the listener to demonstrate this. The speaker can actvoke these.

(a)Door openers

These are invitations to talk, especially for people who seem to have something to say about the issue to be discussed. Describe his positive body language tactfully to make the speaker feel that he is given attention. Give him time to decide whether he wants to respond, adopt a posture of involvement and maintain eye contact.

J.K. Akinola. (Senior Pastor) The Gospel Faith Mission International (GOFAMINT), Ibadan, Nigeria.

Email: flprofenassociate@gmail.com, kolajoshua2003@yahoo.com

Pastor (Dr). E.O. Abina – General Overseer.

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.