Yesterday I attended a training day at Wellspring on coaching and leading volunteers.  It was led by John Rietveld of Novo Coaching in Melbourne.

There was lots of good and salient stuff, and we did a whole bunch of coaching of each other to practice and learn the art, which led to many good outcomes in areas of ministry that we were struggling with so that was very helpful.  But the big take home point for me was that a good coach listens.  A good leader of leaders listens.  And listening is hard.  But a good coach has to listen and then reflect back what has been said.  A good coach holds up a mirror, by listening and reflecting back what the other person is saying in order for the other person to arrive at greater clarity.  But it's hard to listen.

I know I'm a terrible listener.  I always want to jump in, to give my opinion (after all I've been to bible college so my opinion is like totally right pretty much all of the time).  I think out loud and I like to talk.  I'm extroverted in the way I process information.  Listening is hard.  But I'm endeavouring to get better.  To be a better listener and so be a better coach, leader and pastor.

Check out this TED video about the importance of listening and some skills for becoming a better listener

How have you developed your ability to listen well?