Listening Like a Hostage Negotiator
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.
Works for hostage negotiators.
We decided to change the title of this series to better reflect it’s content. Hope that’s not confusing. Greg continues his thoughts here on hearing when God speaks to us and being willing to respond even when we’re not completely certain. You can view parts one and two here and here.
The center of the Christian faith is not anything we believe; it’s the person of Jesus Christ. The foundation of my faith is a person, not a book and a set of beliefs about that book. Rather than believing in Jesus because I believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God, I came…
Stephen Mattson is a follower of ReKnew and a member of Woodland Hills Church who posted a piece on Sojourners titled Christians: It’s NOT a Sin to Change Your Beliefs. He points out that doubt and questions are a natural and needed part of any Christian’s life, and our community needs to change the ways we…
Andrew Aghapour wrote an article that was posted in Religion Dispatches questioning the findings of studies that concluded that analytical thinking negatively affects religious belief. In the article, Does Analytic Thinking Erodes Religious Belief? Aghapour argues that there are flaws in the studies and that the biggest culprit was the most likely the population used…
Two things here: 1) How does this philosopher not see that “not believing in believing” is itself a belief? 2) Is that a turtleneck or is that philosopher just really hairy?
Image by yhoitink via Flickr Greg co-wrote the following article on heresy with Frank Viola for BeliefNet. Check it out! “Heretic.” It’s a favorite word that many Christians have no problem dropping on the heads of their fellow sisters and brothers. In common parlance, the term is used to describe any person who disagrees with “orthodox Christian teaching.”…