Do you know what it takes to be a good listener? Most people think they're good listeners, says Mary Mary's Erica Campbell in the group's weekly "Walk the Walk" blog for Essence.com. Find out what the sisters have to say about why it's important to listen and hear the people around you, especially your loved ones...

Feb, 22, 2011



ERICA CAMPBELL: You know most people think they're good listeners, I thought I was until I realized I was an analytical listener! Always mentally giving my rebuttal or my opinion and preparing to say my part. It's terrible because the words never get a chance to hit your heart. You can never take in the full message that way. I was always missing a part because I didn't shut my mind down and JUST LISTEN.

Seems easy but it's not because everyone wants to be heard in order to be understood! it's just like the person in the movies who talks and adlibs ALL the way through. So you have to see it twice in order to see and to HEAR what came after the funny or serious line!

The person I have the terrible habit of doing this with is you my sweet sister Tina! When you're so close to a person its hard, real hard to be objective because I always assume 'I know what she's gonna say'! Sorry sis! How do we fix this?

TINA CAMPBELL: Oh, I'm definitely guilty of this, Erica, but the answer is easy. It's the law of reciprocity. Try and understand others before you expect to be understood by them. I have experienced time after time, that you actually do get what you give. You may not always reap where you sow, but you absolutely reap what you sow. So, sow understanding and you'll reap understanding.

When we listen to each other more, we'll learn to listen to the still small voice that tells us that their words and thought hold value just as our do. When we listen, we allow ourselves to learn from and appreciate the likenesses or difference in our humanness. When we listen, we learn to appreciate the greatness of a God that could create such commonality and similarity but yet such complete individuality and diversity in the human race.

Great lessons are learned when we listen. Growth occurs when we listen. Interesting things happens when we listen. So listen. Always easy? NO!!! Always worth it? YES!!!

Are you a good listener?

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