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“If questions unlock the door, listening keeps the door open.”

A thought by John C. Maxwell (2017-03-07) from his book, No Limits: Blow the CAP Off Your Capacity (p. 156). Center Street. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

This is such practical advice, isn’t it?

John says, “Questions start the conversation, but listening encourages it to continue. Listening shows that I want to understand someone before I try to be understood by them. Questions + Listening = Quality Conversation. Quality Conversation = Quality Leadership.”

He goes on, “I had to learn how to listen because I was too intent on talking. Today, I usually ask the other person to talk first and share with me everything they want me to know. I listen intently, keeping my eyes focused on them. I don’t interrupt, and I try to give them all the time they need. Why? I want them to feel understood. When they stop, I’ll even ask, ‘Is that everything you wanted to say? If there’s anything else, go ahead and share. I have time.’ Only after they’re done will I begin to talk.”

He finishes this section by saying, “Almost all of my leadership cues come from listening to others. To find and understand people, I ask questions, and I listen. Only then can I lead them effectively.”

And that is so true in our families, with our mate and our kids. We demand that they listen to us but we don’t stop and listen to them.


So, how are we at asking and listening? 

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