The Art of Good Listening, pt. 2

Did you know that research shows listening is the most important communication skill for interpersonal relationships and establishing a career? Yet in our fast-paced, high-tech world, it can be a challenge to listen well. In part 2 of this series, Dr. Chris Grace and Dr. Tim Muehlhoff continue their discussion on the importance of listening and explore practical ways of setting aside time to listen to one another.


Transcript 

Dr. Chris:

Welcome back to the Art of Relationships podcast with Dr. Tim Muehlhoff, I'm Chris Grace. We have the opportunity just to come to you each week and talk a little bit about the art of relationships. You can go to our website at cmr.biola.edu for any more information, events, blogs, and other podcasts. We're just glad to have you join us today. We're going to talk some more Tim, about the art of listening and the impact that listening has on relationships. Your background in this is a communication expert, PhD in the area of communication. You've been thinking a lot about this and there's a lot in this area to uncover, so we're ... Let's keep talking about listening.

Dr. Tim:

Yeah, let me start with a story that I think tells a little bit about the struggle to listen. So I'm asked to be part of a panel to analyze an artist's work. You know how busy life is, it's crazy. We're running around like crazy people. So I know that the thing is at 7, so I literally walk into this exhibit at 6. I've got my legal pad, I'm going to write down some ideas very quickly, we're just good to go.

 

Chris, I walk into this exhibit, and I'm met with a blank canvas with a placard that says, "One." I'm like, "What?" So I look, the next one says, "Two," and there's two dots. I go, "Oh my word, this is abstract art. There is no easy interpretation!"

 

I was expecting horse with buggy and say, "Oh yeah, horse and buggies are really good. I'm pro horse and buggy!" This was the beekeeper's exhibit, and it was fascinating on one hand, but I had no time to be fascinated. I want quick hits, I want to gather the information, I've got to get out of here because I'm about to go talk on a panel.

 

Abstract art is this wonderful little speed bump that says this, "If you don't have the time, don't bother, because there's no easy interpretation."

 

I think sometimes with Noreen or my friends, I don't have time to really listen. I'm like, "Okay, Noreen, can we like, cut to the chase? What are the 5 things you want me to know, or the 3 things, because I've got to be somewhere." I think sometimes I treat my wife like an abstract art. I want quick hits, and there are no quick hits sometimes to good listening.

Dr. Chris:

Yeah, Tim, I think what happens is for each of us, you've identified a problem area that we face at sometime or another in our close relationships. That is, we begin to think that we understand the other person very well, we know who they are, we have all these expectations, they're our best friends, our good friends, so we kind of know where we stand, so we almost take for granted ... It's like, "I'm not sure I've got time for the whole story. Just give me the details, just give me the final fact at this point, and then I can move forward."

 

The other person often times is like, "I enjoy your company. I just want to talk. It helps me to process."

Dr. Tim:

When I share this with my students, I say, "It is the difference between reading Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven, and summarizing The Raven." You can summarize it; lonely man, wife dead, scary bird, never more. Isn't literature wonderful, you know what I mean?

Dr. Chris:

Yeah.

Dr. Tim:

Again, I think this is a little bit of gender differences when it comes to listening in the fact, for a lot of women, it is the process. It is us communicating with each other.

 

For men, we tend to be oriented more towards, "Okay, give me the bare facts so I can make a decision, we can move on." Instrumentality is a huge part of the male listening schema.

 

We have to give preference to each other. It's like, "Hey, sure, can I be doing 3 things and listening to everything that you're saying?" Well, maybe in a technical sense, but how is that connecting with each other?

 

We're going to have to carve out time that I walk in saying, "You know, I kind of suspect I know what my wife is going to say about this topic, but I need to allow her the freedom to fully express. I need to read Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven, not just skim it for the quick facts."

Dr. Chris:

I love what some researchers have said that is so important in relationships is that we lose right away. That is, we lose curiosity. The inability to stay curious about somebody, because we feel like we know them so well, and so we no longer ask, "How do you feel about this? Where are you at?"

 

I think one researcher, John Gotman calls us being a "dream detector." He challenges couples to go in and say ... Ask this question of your spouse. You think you know the answer if you've been married for awhile, but I bet you're surprised. Ask this person that you've known a long time, "What are some dreams? Where are you at? What is God doing in your heart? What are some things you think about a lot?"

 

You'd be surprised at how often some of those things have changed as time has gone on.

Dr. Tim:

This is where we get off on the wrong foot by setting expectations, because when you're dating, Chris, it's all curiosity. It's all, "I could talk to you forever!"

 

... Never up until 3 in the morning. You're like, "Ah, I've got to go to work the next day, so one more half hour. One more half hour! We can just talk one more."

 

Now, it's like, "Honey, we've talked about ..."

Dr. Chris:

"For about 3 minutes now."

Dr. Tim:

Yeah, but, "We've talked about this topic. We've talked!"

 

When you're dating, it's like, "Oh, that's so cool! You think that?" So I think we have to find ways of reviving that curiosity with each other in appreciation of each other's perspectives.

Dr. Chris:

I think that's what it is; appreciation, curiosity, and knowing a person's heart not just assuming. Using that and using those skills. Man, you could begin to uncover some amazing that you didn't realize before.

 

One time, I remember we were on a plane. I thought, "I'm going to try this," so I say to my wife, I say, "Lisa, if you had time and you could do something that maybe you couldn't do before, but now you have enough money, enough time, what is it? What do you dream about? What is one thing on your list?"

Dr. Tim:

Wow.

Dr. Chris:

I was surprised. In one respect, I guess when she said, "You know, Chris, I'll be honest with you, I love adventure. I love going and doing things that are fun and challenging. Going on a hike somewhere, travelling to some place I've never been, and just going on an adventure."

 

I remember thinking, "I didn't really realize that that was such a big deal for her."

Dr. Tim:

Yeah.

Dr. Chris:

So to allow her that opportunity to talk, it actually changed the way how we took our next vacation. We decided to go out to Colorado, do some hiking in the mountains, and to go out there.

Dr. Tim:

That's great.

Dr. Chris:

It was really fun, but I think the challenge is to remain curious, to share and express appreciation to somebody, and to be able to do that requires taking some time and not pre-judging as we talked about before.

Dr. Tim:

I think my advice to couples would be ... Again, you're married for 20 years/25 years. I would say this, "Sure, you're not kids just dating each other. You've had these conversations and perhaps you're in a rut. So if you want to rekindle conversations, then get into new terrain. Go do something different, and it opens up all of a sudden."

 

I read an article in Rolling Stone Magazine, Chris. It was called "Bruce Springsteen Saved our Marriage." It was about 2 people, totally true story. He is an avid Bruce Springsteen fanatic, and he's going to a Bruce Springsteen show. He has two tickets, and he's bringing a good friend of his. His wife's just going to stay home.

 

He cancels last minute, the friend, so now he's got this ticket that's going to go to waste. He says to his wife, "Hey, you want to come with me?"

 

She's like, "Well, sure."

 

So she goes. They love Bruce Springsteen! Now, she's like, "Well let's get some CD's!"

 

"Well, I've got CD's."

 

Now it's opened up this whole avenue of them to be able to talk about things. So I would say to some couples that if you feel like your conversations are stale, find new terrain. Do something different. Shuffle the deck a little bit.

 

Take a class together; a ballroom dancing class, or read a book together. You know what I mean? Broaden your horizons. Do a date night where one night he picks what to do, and then another date night, she picks what to do.

Dr. Chris:

I think those are great suggestions. Those are awesome.

Dr. Tim:

I'm hoping my wife doesn't listen to any of this, because she's going to say, "Oh, let's do it!"

 

I'd be like, "Okay, let's put the Boss on baby, and we can ..."

Dr. Chris:

... Get going!

Dr. Tim:

How do you do positive listening? What are some things that we should do?

 

Last podcast, we covered some terrain that said, "Hey, here's some things to not do." So let me mention one thing by listening scholar David Johnson. I loved that, a listening scholar. Wouldn't it be a bummer if you had a conversation with him and he was horrible?

Dr. Chris:

Yeah, that would be horrible.

Dr. Tim:

It'd be like, "Dude, you're a listening scholar!"

Dr. Chris:

Yep.

Dr. Tim:

This is what he says. He says, "By and far, the most important thing you should do, more than any technique, is what he calls a 'desire to listen.'" He said, "I don't care about the techniques, because if you don't have the desire, then it doesn't matter. People are going to see through the technique in a heartbeat."

 

He really suggests that you need to cultivate a desire to engage your child, your spouse, your roommate. That happens long before the conversation even starts.

Dr. Chris:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). You know Tim, it's such a fascinating word that we desire to listen, because it's trying to get at the heart of what we're doing in a relationship. It gets at the heart of why we want to do this, right?

 

I think we can look for some models. I think the way Jesus did this in a number of cases in the New Testament where, let's say the woman at the well. He did an amazing thing there by listening, and asking questions, and drawing somebody out. It's just powerful when you watch somebody who is good at this who can draw somebody out, because they have a desire to go to a deeper level and listen. They probably have a motive that they say, "This is going to allow me to learn a little bit more about your heart to expose some things."

 

If that's your desires, it very well could be as simple as, "I want to get to know this person at a deeper level and know what's really going on there. My desire is that."

 

That's one way to do it.

Dr. Tim:

One thing I would say to listeners is, "Go ahead and define for each other how you'd upack the phrase 'undivided attention.'"

 

How do you unpack that? Again, I'm not opposed to a couple saying, "Hey, I think we can both sit there with our Blackberry's. We both can sit with our smart phones and engage each other."

 

I think whenever a couple feels like, "Hey, I do feel engaged." I don't want to just throw that under the carpet, but I do think it's really wise to sit down with your spouse, or roommate, or friend to say, "How do you want to be listened to? What communicates to you that you have my undivided attention?"

 

Noreen might say, "Okay, the TV's got to be off."

Dr. Chris:

Yeah.

Dr. Tim:

"Let's turn our phones off."

Dr. Chris:

Yeah.

Dr. Tim:

Again, let the other person say, "This is when I know I have it. I have that undivided attention with you."

 

I think that'd be great to spell it out, remove the mystery.

Dr. Chris:

We have a similar kind of rule. One of the things we'll do is, let's say we're out on a date night and we're talking and visiting. There might be kids, there might be events, there might be things going on at work so the phone is beeping, you know text messages are coming in. We've decided that we're going to set that aside. However, we're going to ask and talk about, "Hey, I've been waiting for a phone call, and I think this might be Caroline," or "this might be somebody that's important. Do you mind if I look at my phone for just a minute?"

 

Almost get permission and say, "My time with you is so valuable, but there's something going on. Do you mind if I just look at this to confirm that it's okay?"

 

That right there can often times make the person feel like, "Yeah, go ahead and do that real quick. That sounds fine."

Dr. Tim:

That's good.

Dr. Chris:

It's just kind of having a little bit of a rule.

Dr. Tim:

Clear the deck.

Chris:

Yep.

Dr. Tim:

Again, in today's crazy ... Especially if you have toddlers, especially if life is crazy, then I think you say, "Hey listen, I know tonight's bad, today's not good, but how about tomorrow? Can we carve some time out tomorrow or the weekend?"

Dr. Chris:

Yep.

Dr. Tim:

... Get planning.

Dr. Chris:

Yep.

Dr. Tim:

In order to do that I think is really good.

Dr. Chris:

Tim, I think your idea of doing that to avoid, "What is divided attention? What does it mean when we're distracted?"

Dr. Tim:

Yep.

Dr. Chris:

Attention is always wanted. Attention seems to me, to be one of those gifts that we have.

Dr. Tim:

Yeah.

Dr. Chris:

We talk about ... We use it as a gift. We can divide our attention, we can give someone the gift of our attention. People feel more reinforced and closer to each other when we give attention. So it's a fascinating gift that we can give to somebody else, provided we don't divide it, cut it in half, parse it out, and give it to other people.

Dr. Tim:

We tried to do this. I really appreciate that you and Lisa are just the kings of date night. You guys are great. You really intentionally do this. You've been doing it for how long?

Dr. Chris:

A long time, probably.

Dr. Tim:

It ticks me off. Don't mention a number, please. My wife could be listening.

 

So we did this thing, it didn't last super long, but we took Wednesday nights at 6:00, we turned off all electronics. Chris, the first couple Wednesdays were tough.

 

You'd sit in there, and you're like, "Hey."

 

"Hi."

 

"How was your day?"

 

"Good."

 

"Wow, dinner was good."

 

"Yeah."

 

You know what I mean? I think that bothers couples a little bit. Maybe it doesn't need to be that extreme, but we found that after a while, just letting things slow down enough that we could give that attention to each other, I think is just really important.

 

Another thing we practiced is, you're only allowed to ask clarifying questions in the initial stage.

Dr. Chris:

Oh, yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Tim:

When I was with Cru, Campus Crusade, I'd train people in evangelism. I had this one guy named Tom. Tom knew everything there was to know about the Gospel and Christian apologetics. He was a horrible listener.

 

I'd take him on these evangelistic things, and he would, as soon as the person would say something, Tom would jump in with the Christian counter.

Dr. Chris:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Tim:

So I said to him, I said, "Tom! Tom, you can't keep doing that. Who's going to want to talk to you? This is like a monologue."

 

I said, "Listen, next evangelistic encounter, you can just ask questions. That's it, Tom. I don't want you challenging anything."

 

So I met this kid, it was this great kid. This was at [inaudible 00:14:29] University. He thought he had outer-body experiences. He was a new-age kind of kid and thought, "I often tele-transport across campus."

 

I brought Tom. I said, "Hey, let's continue this conversation. Let's grab lunch."

 

I'm sitting there with Tom, and he starts off by saying, "Oh, you won't believe it! Last night, I was floating across campus!"

 

Tom goes, "Oh come on!"

 

I kick him under the table. He pauses. He goes, "How high did you go?"

 

You know what I mean? We get into such a rut of countering a person, that it's like, "No, I'm going to take this time and I'm just going to ask questions with my 13-year-old son. I'm just going to ask questions. How high did you go?"

Dr. Chris:

" And how high were you when you went?" No, I'm sorry. No, not really.

Dr. Tim:

I think that's important to say, "You know what? I'm going to shift gears, and I'm going to listen to understand. I'm purposely not going to challenge anything."

 

Do another version of that, Chris, is, "I'm going to listen and only comment on areas we agree with each other."

Dr. Chris:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Tim:

I love that to unsurface ways that we really do look in the same direction, and we really do agree with each other, but that's a hard attitude. All of this is hard attitude, I think, heading into it.

Dr. Chris:

Yep.

Dr. Tim:

Another one is, a woman named Anna Deavere Smith, I really admire her. She's a communications scholar. She came up with this really interesting phrase called Wide Awakeness, which she said is being fully present in the moment.

Dr. Chris:

Yeah.

Dr. Tim:

It's kind of like when you wake up in the morning and you haven't had your first cup of coffee, and somebody's trying to talk to you, and you're like, "Hey can you hang on just one second? I need a cup of coffee right now."

 

I think that's okay to say to a person, "I am distracted."

Dr. Chris:

Yep.

Dr. Tim:

"Can I knock off these two or three things? I want to be fully present. This environment doesn't work for me, can we try another environment?"

 

That got us in trouble early in our marriage, because I'd come home from campus, Noreen had - we had young kids. I'd walk through the door, and it's just chaos. I wanted to talk to her, "Oh, I was reading this really cool book," or "I gave this lecture today."

 

Noreen's like, "Honey, I can't listen. I can't do this right now."

 

That's when the kids are in bed, you know what I mean, and you have a cup of coffee, and you finally-it slows down. That's when wide awakeness can happen. "Okay, now I can listen to you because I'm fully present in the moment."

Dr. Chris:

Tim, I love the word presence, and the idea of being present, and being mindful of that which a person that you are with, where they're at, what they're thinking about where you're at, what you're thinking about. Being present simply means being aware and being sensitive, right?

Dr. Tim:

Yeah.

Dr. Chris:

So, presence is almost another gift we can give to somebody. We tell them, "You are so important to me, I'm going to be present here with you."

 

I was telling you a story last time about a father that was struggling a little bit with telling his child how to think about something that he felt passionately about and felt that they were thinking incorrectly. Well, what he was communicating indirectly by telling his daughter that the position that she was taking on this social issue was wrong. He had some great facts, and he lined up, and it was actually pretty strong. If you listen to it, it's pretty cogent and rational, but what he heard and what he said was, in essence, "You're thinking wrongly about this, and I don't like your thoughts on this."

Dr. Tim:

Yeah.

Dr. Chris:

What she was hearing was, "You don't like me."

Dr. Tim:

Yeah.

Dr. Chris:

Well, what she really wanted was, "Dad, I want you to be present with me. I want to talk about - balance some things - even if I'm wrong, I just want you there."

 

That's what presence is, is knowing, understanding, and learning what another person is and where they're at. That's a lot of what our motive needs to be when it comes to healthy, good listening in this time.

Dr. Tim:

Let me tell you a great story. I had a great conversation with my 3 sons. Biola did an event on campus. They brought in Robert George. Robert George is a Princeton scholar. He's one of my son's favorite authors of all time.

 

There was a meet and greet, a VIP thing that we got invited to, and I brought my 3 sons. Everybody wants to talk to Robert George. Everybody. There were some other really well-known people there.

 

Robert George walks up to me and my 3 sons. Now I'm thinking, we probably have what, a minute? A minute. Chris, we were blown away. He stood there and talked to us, I bet you for, I'm going to say, 10 minutes.

 

Later, I said to my boys ... They were blown away. They were like, "I couldn't believe that he stood there and talked to us, and we never felt rushed."

 

I said to my kids, "What communicated to you that he wasn't looking to leave?"

 

You know what I mean? You know what they said, Chris? Eye contact.

 

Other people we met that night, and again, they're well known people, their eyes were darting as we were talking to them.

Dr. Chris:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Tim:

Robert George, I mean, the eye contact was unbelievable. He wasn't looking for an out. I thought that was the coolest thing. That whole nonverbal aspect of listening, Chris, I think is really important. That a lot of our listening is my eye contact with you. I'm not darting and looking. My eyes don't gloss over. That's that weird thing you can just pick on a person like, "You're not focusing on me anymore."

Dr. Chris:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Tim:

I think we can read too much into it. Verbal cues are also part of non-verbal ... Is to let you know that I'm clocking with you. It'd be things like ... You just did it!

Dr. Chris:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Tim:

You literally just did it.

Dr. Chris:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Tim:

With the ...

Dr. Chris:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Tim:

Yep. Man, that's really important, particularly for women. These listening cues are really important.

 

I thought it was fascinating that my kids said, "I never felt rushed!" Yet, to try to get them to articulate it, it came down to eye contact.

Dr. Chris:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Tim:

He wasn't looking to get out.

Dr. Chris:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Tim:

I thought that was really cool.

Dr. Chris:

You know there's a story of a golfer who died just recently, Arnold Palmer.

Dr. Tim:

Oh, Arnold Palmer.

Dr. Chris:

Great story of a young writer who was ... Literally he said, this was one of the greatest, biggest, impacts on his life, was he crossed under the barrier one time in 1967 as a young high school kid, just to be able to ask a question of Arnold Palmer, and he shouldn't have done it. He could have gotten kicked off the course. All Arnie had to do was say, "Get him off."

 

Instead, Arnold Palmer not only listened to this kid's question, he said, "You know, I'll tell you what, why don't you walk with me the rest of some of these ..."

 

This is at a Pro-AM golf tournament, and he said, this kid, he wrote about it now, some 40 years later saying, "Arnold probably never even remembers I wrote a story, went to a local newspaper the next day, but my life has never been the same simply because somebody took the time to listen, and they engaged with me."

Dr. Tim:

Yeah.

Dr. Chris:

The impact that we can have on somebody ... I don't know Tim about you, but I'm attracted to people who listen. Some people are so good at it.

Dr. Tim:

Yeah.

Dr. Chris:

You want to hang out with them. You want to talk with them. I want to be that kind of a person.

 

Now let me ask you another question. Are there sometimes in which some people who are so good at listening can actually get kind of tired of it at times? They probably spend a lot of time there, and it can be draining. You have to be able to be aware of limits, opportunities to recharge the batteries and spend time, especially if you're a really good listener who spends a lot of time listening.

 

I think you need to take care of that and be careful that you don't get overwhelmed. It's okay to take some time off. It's okay to disengage, because you're going to find yourself ... People are going to come to you, a lot, no doubt.

 

Some of our listeners are in this camp where people say, "You're such a great listener! You share everything, and I can tell you anything." You almost have to be mindful of that as well.

Dr. Tim:

I think people have different gas tanks. I think that's more personality driven. There's some people that can talk forever, and never get tired of it.

 

I have a small gas tank, to be honest with you. I do need times to get replenished. I just need to know when I'm wearing down. I think that's fairness to the person.

 

Office hours can be like this if you're a faculty member, where you're like, "Hey, I just got to be honest with you. I've got a little bit of a headache, I'm really kind of tired, it's important to me, but can we just keep this to 20 minutes?"

 

I think it's good to let a person know, "I do want to pay attention, and I do want to listen, but I'll be honest with you, I'm tired and I just need some time to collect myself."

 

I think that's good to be able to say to a person.

Dr. Chris:

I think it is too, Tim. I think there's so many other ways in which a person will appreciate that, that you're taking the time and you think it's important enough for me to know rather than ... It reminded me, when you were telling that story, it reminded me of a faculty member who I admired here.

 

I would walk by his office, and I had decided that I would have office hours, and I would break my hours into 4 sections. That is, I would have 4 office hours in 1 hour ...

Dr. Tim:

Fifteen minutes, right?

Dr. Chris:

I can do six. Yeah, fifteen minutes. I could even do 6. I remember thinking, "I can get this person in and out. I can diagnose real quickly what they need, I can sign what they need, hear them."

 

I tried that for a semester, and I remember being shocked at a couple of things: 1. There was another faculty member who, in the time I did all of these appointments in that one hour, he was still sitting with the same person. I remember asking him, "My goodness. How often and how long do your office hours go?"

 

He said, "You know what? I think it's important for me to be able to connect with some of these students, and hear them, and be able to listen to them. They have some good stories, and they have a good life journey."

 

I felt so convicted. I realized, "Here I am trying to cut back and make these office hours go quicker." Instead, I was taught a very humbling lesson at that point, that a way to understand, connect, and hear another person is actually spend more time and set aside time to listen.

Dr. Tim:

Yeah.

Dr. Chris:

It's a humbling time, and it's a humbling experience sometimes when we realize ... We get busy, it's hard, but people do respond when we're able to spend that time and hear and listen.

Dr. Tim:

That Stanford Professor, Anna Deavere Smith has one last idea. I think this is a great phrase. She calls it 'a poetic moment.' Listening to a person, her belief was, if given enough time, a person would say something that would almost be like poetry, that it was so phrased in an emotional way, it was such a powerful statement, that Anna Deavere Smith felt like it was really life-giving in a conversation when you said to that person, "Man, when you said this, that really gave me a glimpse into what's happening. That really stuck with me."

 

I think for us to go into it with the attitude of, "I'm going to look for this poetic moment, that it really mattered to me that you said it that way. Elaborate on that. That was powerful when you said that."

 

I think it's kind of cool to walk in with that wide awakeness idea and then look for a poetic moment.

Dr. Chris:

Yep. Another way of saying it, Tim, is saying, "God's going to show up." Right?

Dr. Tim:

Oh, yeah.

Dr. Chris:

Assuming God is going to be there, and even asking His presence, and knowing that, and thinking, "God you're going to be here." That's exactly what happens in a good, deep conversation like that; poetic, deep, spiritual moment where God can be there and present. What a great thing.

Dr. Tim:

How high did you go? Hey, my favorite, as we kind of wrap up, my favorite illustration of the power of listening is, I have a good friend of mine, Jane, who's on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ, and she's driving one day to work with a friend. They're going over a bridge, and she sees something and thinks, "I can't be seeing that."

 

It's a woman dressed in a fur coat on the outside of the rails, and she's about to jump. They come to a halt, Jane gets out of the car, says to her friend, "Call 9-1-1," and Jane now, is on the opposite side of the rails. She said, "What do you do? What in the world do you say?"

 

She just said to this woman, "Hi, my name's Jane. What's your name?"

 

Nothing from this woman.

 

She said, "Listen, what a beautiful coat. I'd love to hear where you got that from!"

 

Woman doesn't say anything, leans forward just a little bit, and Jane thinks, "Oh my gosh, I'm going to lose her."

 

Then she said, "You seem very sad, and I would like to hear your story."

 

The woman, never looking at Jane, extends her hand towards Jane. Now, people are gathered everywhere. She takes this woman's hand, and they climb back over the rail.

 

I later said to her, "Jane, what?"

 

She said, "Tim, I was trying to remember every movie with hostage negotiations, or talking someone down from a ledge. All I could do was offer to listen."

 

That resonated with that woman, and literally saved a woman's life, because she said, "I want to hear your story." That's powerful.

Dr. Chris:

Yeah, that's really powerful. What a great way to end talk on listening, and just to hear the impact it can have when we're heard, when we're understood, and when we're listened to.

 

What a great story, story of time of listening, and talking to you Tim. I appreciate all your insights on this. For the listeners, go to our website: cmr.biola.edu if you want more information, more podcasts, more blogs, events going on ...

Dr. Tim:

Muehlhoff hair products.

Dr. Chris:

We even have those as well for a very expensive price.

 

Thanks for joining us today on our Art of Relationship Podcast. I'm Chris Grace.

Dr. Tim:

I'm Tim Muehlhoff.


The Art of Relationships Podcast

The Art of Relationships podcast, hosted by Dr. Chris Grace and Dr. Tim Muehlhoff, is centered on helping you build healthy relationships and marriages. In this podcast, Chris (director of Biola University Center for Marriage and Relationships and professor of psychology at Biola University) and Tim (professor of communication at Biola University and author of I Beg to Differ), weigh in on how to navigate the complexities of relationships in our culture with biblical wisdom and scholarly research. Listen to get practical insights on relationships, dating and marriage that can be applied to all relationships  — family, friends, co-workers and others.

 

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