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Listening Like a Hostage Negotiator

Talking

 Pedro Ribeiro Simões via Compfight

It seems like from the moment we become Christians we’re taught how to present an argument and defend our beliefs. But not many of us are taught how to listen well. This might be why Christians are perceived as arrogant or judgmental. It’s not helping the cause of Christ and it’s certainly not helping our relationships in general.

Donald Miller recently posted a blog on What We Can Learn About Relationships From a Hostage Negotiator. Hostage negotiators are taught to listen in a way that makes the hostage-taker feel heard and more human. In his post, Donald issues a challenge that we thought was worth taking. We hope you’ll check out the whole article and decide to take up this challenge. And we’d love to hear from you on Facebook how it went for you.

Here’s the challenge:

What if we spent the next 5 days (mark it on a calendar, this will be fun) not presenting our opinions about anything, or at least keeping them to a minimum, and instead really tried to listen to and understand the people we were talking with? What if we turned up the empathy to the highest level? How would our relationships change? How differently would people view us? And how much stronger would our own positions be perceived coming from a person who was so empathetic and understanding?

After all, we’re all holding our hearts hostage, and we’re all afraid.

Maybe the key to getting somebody to open up isn’t argument but empathy. 

Works for hostage negotiators.

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