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Small Group Listening

There is a trap that I fall into when I lead a small group, and this article highlights it.  Rather than really listening, I am just hearing enough to repeat what someone else has said.  So, when you are in a small group setting, are you listening, or waiting your turn?  Here’s how to know, from Janet McMahon:

I wanted to listen so intently that others felt truly heard and understood. As I’ve grown in this area, I’ve learned that listening is more than a skill. It’s an art. And when done well, listening is an art that really can change people’s lives. But it’s not something that most people are naturally good at. In fact, the opposite is true.

In his book Making Small Groups Work, Henry Cloud says: “A big part of the problem is that we think listening is just the ability to know what someone has said. And once we know what they have said, we feel the permission to tell them what we think or feel, or whatever we want them to listen to from us. From a facilitator’s perspective, that is not listening. It is just waiting your turn.”

There are some helpful benefits to listening in a small group setting.  Read the whole article for yourself, and then evaluate the small group you attend to decide if you have a group that listens, or a group where everyone is waiting their turn.  And you can lead the way to true listening.

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