to keep up with the flow, context,
and twists and turns of what's
being said. Now, imagine how
your wife will feel and respond,
the next time she experiences
YOUR undivided attention.

Another helpful tool to improve
our listening is the
LOOK: use eye contact.
ASK questions: ask clarifying
 questions and probing
 questions to get deeper.
 For example,
can you
 explain more about what
 you mean when you said....?
DON'T interrupt: allow your
 wife to complete her
DON'T change the subject:
 keep your undivided
EMOTIONS: what's your wife
 feeling? Also check your
 own emotions to make sure
 that they aren't hindering
 you from understanding.
RESPONSIVE: give listening
 cues that you are following
 along (i.e.: nodding,
 looking interested, saying
 'yes', 'mmm', 'uh-huh').

Brothers, wouldn't it be great to
hear your wife call you, "a good
listener". As we become better
listeners, there is no doubt that
our wives will be blessed, and
our marriages strengthened!

Bless your marriage,
Brother Willie Quan
“The first duty of love
is to listen.”
~ Paul Tillich
In last month's letter, we focused
on "Seeking first to understand,
before be understood." As we
continue along our journey of
understanding, it is vital to
enhance our listening skills.

A beautiful picture of what it
takes to listen is found in the
Chinese character for 'listening'.
The verb
'to listen' is composed
of a combination of other words:
ear, eyes, heart, and undivided
attention. Let's look a little closer:

OUR EARS: our ears allow us
to take in sounds, words, and
noises, but it does not
guarantee that we understand.
We must first listen for the words
being said--what's being said at
face value. And, how it's being
said? What's the tone like?
Pauses? Inflections? These
additional cues will help us get a
better idea about the emotions
accompanying the message.

OUR EYES: it's said that the
eyes are the window to the soul.
A key tool to our effective
listening is our eyes. Our eyes
enable us to see the person's
non-verbal body language--their
facial expression (smile or
frown), gestures (animated or
sedate), posture (slouching or
upright). This will often help us
pick up what's not being said
verbally. It's believed that
65-70% of all communication is
non-verbal. Also as we listen, the
eye contact we make with the
other person helps us
communicate our connection,
empathy, and warmth.

OUR HEART: we can say that
this begins with our desire to
truly understand. To not only
understand the person's side of
the story and situation, but also
their feelings. To show that we
care for the other person, as
found in our opening quote. Also
our heart should remind us to
suspend judgment until we fully
understand the whole story.

when we use
our ears, eyes, and heart we will
be showing the other person
that we are giving them our
undivided attention. How easy is
it for our minds to wander as
someone speaks? If our
attention is fixed, we will be able
© 2006
"to listen"
Bless Your Marriage Letters                    Issue 7                                     July  2006
Bless Your Marriage Letters                    Issue 7                                     July  2006
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