Each month one of our team will explore different topics to encourage and equip you in your own expression of mission. This month we’re looking at Mentoring.
Many people are looking for an ear that will listen...
Thought for the Week - 21st July 2017
‘Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among most people they meet, not even amongst their close friends. But he who can no longer listen to another has lost contact with life. For life is community and community is relationships and relationships die without communication. One who cannot listen long and patiently will presently be talking beside the point and never be really speaking to others; unfortunately, he will not be conscious of it. To listen another’s soul into a condition of disclosure and discovery may be almost the greatest service that any human being performs for another.’
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Thought for the Week - 28th July 2017
‘Empathy is full presence to what's alive in the other person at this moment.’
Empathetic listening is different to sympathetic listening. Empathy means to feel into, sympathy means to feel alongside, but never really enter. Empathetic listening requires us to hold back from jumping to conclusions, to avoid presuming that how we would feel in their shoes is how they feel now. If we sympathise, we are relating to someone’s experiencing, putting ourselves into someone else’s picture. But empathetic listening is not about ourselves. If we empathise, we are seeking to understand, deeply, just how this person is experiencing life in this moment or circumstance. We can only do that if we patiently and attentively listen as they find the words to communicate their experience.
Listening is a skill; so practice!
Thought for the Week - 4th August 2017
Listening is a skill. Reflective listening doesn’t come naturally to most of us but it can be learnt. It is a wonderful gift to give another person and can be a very effective youth work tool. Whether we are interacting informally with our young people, or consciously making time to listen, we can always do it better. Practising will definitely make it more natural, satisfying and effective.