Listen first

To give an answer on a matter before listening lacks good sense and is rude. Prov. 18:13

Listening can be challenging, especially when you think you already know the information or when you disagree. Communications experts usually present four or five stages in the listening process.
1. Attend. Open yourself to the message and the messenger. Acknowledge your biases and preconceptions and put them aside long enough to consider what is being said.
2. Interpret. Don’t jump to conclusions. Don’t fill in blanks with what you think is meant.
3. Evaluate. Now consider how this message sits with what you already know and believe.
4. Respond. Repeat the message you think you heard back to confirm that you understand. Ask for more clarification and information in you think you need it.
We don’t have to agree with one another, but we can really listen to each other and make sure when we do engage in disagreement, we actually understand what the other person is saying.

Lord, help me to listen more than I talk.