Contextual Listening


When conversing with others, we may wear each other out by insisting on our own opinions. In this situation, we may become frustrated with one another. Speaking is not the problem, but rather our inability to listen attentively. For effective communication, we need to listen well.

Listening is giving ear to what a person is saying. There are various types of listening. The first type is Spousal Listening, which is the lowest level of listening. It is so named because this type of listening occurs between a husband and wife. Spouses do not pay attention while communicating with each other; simply saying, “Let’s talk about that later” or “Okay, sweetie, that’s enough for today.”

The second type is Passive Listening. During Passive Listening, we just let others speak without relating to them. This discourages the speaker and hinders communication.

The third type is Active Listening. During Active Listening, we are attentive and relate to others, making eye contact and responding “Really?” or “So what happened?” Active Listening leads to effective communication.

The fourth type, which is the highest level, is Contextual Listening. During Contextual Listening, we consider others’ motives, feelings, and backgrounds, taking into account the whole context of their story. This leads to effective communication and empathy because we consider others’ hearts during this stage of communication.

Looking back on your life you will find that those whom you had the best relationships with are those who paid attention and related to you well. Let’s practice Contextual Listening in Zion and in our homes then we will overflow with joy and smiles.