"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this:
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak
and slow to become angry" - James 1:19.
Someone once said that we have two ears and one mouth; therefore, we should listen twice as much as we talk. That can be difficult for leaders because they are often intelligent, quick, and competitive, so they often want to overcome their opponents and win their doubters with their persuasive arguments and presentations. Yet the art of persuasion that does not coerce is actually based in asking good questions and listening intently to the answers. This goes right along with Stephen Covey's fifth habit of effective people, which is first to understand others, then attempting to be understood.
LEADERSHIP STEP: In the first two entries on persuasion, you did a study of the tongue in Proverbs. Today you will do the same but this time search Proverbs for the words listen, ear, and hear. Next time you will do the same in the gospels, but for now, see how important this concept of listening was for the wisdom writer. Then work over the next month on asking good questions and listening intently to understand others. A good place to start this is at home or with friends.