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Lesson 7

Why is Authentic Listening significant?

It is significant because Listening is an act of love. It is respectful and builds trust. You demonstrate love when you give your time, your attention, your ears, and your heart to another. Being an authentic listener will help you to create better and more intimate relationships both personally and professionally. When you are authentically listening, you are non-judgmental and open, which allows for new information to come in by being present, attentive, and empathetic. You are present without distraction. You’re not thinking about anything else. You’re not thinking about what you’re going to say when they finish. You’re not interrupting. Instead, your respectful, thoughtful, and courteous. This provides a “safe” space for the person talking, to be open, honest, and vulnerable. By doing so, this builds trust, allowing for a much deeper, stronger, and more meaningful relationship to develop.  


What is Authentic Listening? Authentic Listening is one of the highest forms of respect you can offer another human being, which is an act of love. Therefore, we encourage you to make it a lifestyle of your beingness to BE an Authentic Listener. BE present. BE attentive. BE considerate. BE thoughtful. BE empathetic. BE respectful. Authentic Listening is listening to understand. Practice your BE, DO and HAVE. (BE) an authentic listener by giving (DO) your time and attention and in doing so you will (HAVE) deeper and more meaningful connected relationships. Authentic Listening is Above the Line Thinking.


“Understand this, my beloved brothers, and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]” (AMP, James 1:19).


What isn’t Authentic Listening? It isn’t 1) Listening to respond 2) Listening to agree “I’m right” or 3) Listening to disagree “You’re wrong.”

·      When I’m thinking about an answer while they’re talking – I’m not listening

·      When I give unsolicited advice – I’m not listening

·      When I suggest they shouldn’t feel the way they do – I’m not listening

·      When I apply a quick fix to their issue – I’m not listening

·      When I fail to maintain eye contact (distracted) – I’m not listening

·      When they share a difficult experience and I counter with one of my own – I’m not listening


Here are the three greatest questions to ask:

1.     Identify sometimes when you were listening to others and found yourself thinking of what you were going to say by the time they were done talking? As well as times when  you often interrupted someone talking?

2.     What are some good habits you can work on to be a more authentic listener?

3.     Do you think if you looked at your conversation through God’s lens it would change the way you listen? If so, how?


How can you become an Authentic Listener? The first thing you can do is beware of how you listen. Do you listen to understand? Or respond? Or agree / disagree? The second thing you can do, once you are aware of your habits or patterns of listening you can practice the third way of listening to understand (to be present, attentive, and empathetic). The third thing you can do is to repeat back what you heard, so as to understand. This validates to the other person you are authentically listening and valuing them, their share, and their time.


“A wise old owl sat on an oak. The more he heard, the less he spoke: The less he spoke, the more he heard: Why aren’t we all like that old wise bird?” – Unknown Author


What Authentic Listening is:

Tip #1 - Authentic Listening is an Act of Love.

Tip #2 - Authentic Listening shows respect and builds up love and trust.

Tip #3 - Authentic Listening demonstrates you have two ears and one mouth for a reason.

Tip #4 - Authentic Listening is listening to understand.

Tip #5 - Authentic Listening means listening with your eyes by ‘being’ present with the person talking. You’re NOT on you’re not on your phone, you’re not looking around, you’re not dazing off. You actually see and hear the other person.

Tip #6 - Active Listening is deliberate by putting away or avoiding distractions (i.e., cell phone, other people, watch, etc.).

Tip #7 - Active Listening creates better relationships.

Tip #8 - Active Listening is able to repeat back what the other person is saying. Sender / Receiver approach.

Tip #9 - Active Listening is demonstrating an open body posture, not closed or shut down or disinterested.


What Authentic Listening isn’t:

Tip #10 - Authentic Listening is NOT listening to just agree. It is listening to understand.

Tip #11 - Authentic Listening is NOT listening to just disagree. It is listening to understand.

Tip #12 - Authentic Listening is NOT thinking about an answer while others are talking.

Tip #13 - Authentic Listening is NOT giving unsolicited advice.

Tip #14 - Authentic Listening is NOT suggesting someone shouldn’t feel the way they do.

Tip #15 - Authentic Listening is NOT looking to fix their issues or concerns without consent.

Tip #16 - Authentic Listening is NOT one upping them by telling a bigger better story of your own.

Which Tip(s) do you struggle with? Take this week to ponder the Three Greatest Questions in the Lesson and see if the tips you struggle with help to answer these questions.

Going Deeper in the Word

Authentic Listening is not only about how you listen, but who you listen to.

How to listen:

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” - James 1:19 ESV

“If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.”

- Proverbs 18:13 ESV

“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” - Proverbs 18:2 ESV

“Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;” - Proverbs 2:2 ESV

“Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” - Proverbs 17:28 ESV

“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” - Proverbs 21:23 ESV

When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” - Proverbs 10:19 ESV

“Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.” - Proverbs 17:27

“And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.” - Mark 4:24

Who to listen to:

“My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge. For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol; …” - Proverbs 5:1-23 ESV

“Cease to hear instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.” - Proverbs 19:27

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” - John 10:27 ESV

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” - 2 Timothy 3:16

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” - Hebrews 4:12 ESV

“But the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.” - 1 Peter 1:25 ESV

“But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” - Matthew 4:4 ESV

Prices Paid/Consequences

Authentic Listening is the highest form of love from one person to another. It displays a sense of respect, appreciation and general interest.

However, poor listening leads to assumptions and misunderstandings which can lead to errors, ineffective decisions, and/or costly mistakes. On a personal level, poor listening can lead to hurt feelings, a loss of team, collaboration, belonging, togetherness, safety, security, trust and unity. This breaks the ability to effectively connect with another person and weakens their communication even further.

The prices paid, are the deterioration of valuable relationships (friends, family, acquaintances, etc.). This is often caused by a lack of authentic listening through:

  • Low concentration (distracted)

  • Lack of prioritization (not truly interested)

  • Poor judgment (lack of understanding)

  • Focusing on superficial rather than substance (inauthentic)

Employers who listen poorly pay the following price with their employees:

  • Devalued

  • Low performance / productivity

  • Loss of revenue

  • Negative behaviors

  • Disinterested / Disengaging

  • Disloyal

  • No initiative

  • Negative work environment

  • Distrust

  • Gossip / Rumors

  • Bitterness / Resentment

  • Compliance instead of commitment

Parents who listen poorly pay the following price with their children:

  • Loss of confidence

  • Lack of self-esteem

  • Effect Cognitive development

  • Emotional baggage

    • I’m not important

    • I’m not worthy

    • I don’t matter

    • I’m not lovable

Husband / Wife / Boyfriend / Girlfriend who listen poorly pay the following price with their significant others:

  • Resentment

  • Hurt

  • Distant

  • Indifferent

  • Lost desire for intimacy

  • Emotional baggage

    • I’m not important

    • I’m not worthy

    • I don’t matter

    • I’m not lovable

Your own self / gut / intuition who listen poorly to themselves pay the following price:

  • Lack of confidence

  • Doubt

  • Fear

  • Confusion

  • Lack of Self-respect

  • Disconnected

  • Unaware

  • Mental & Physical unease

  • Distrust

  • Martyr

  • Victim mindset

God - when we listen poorly to God we pay the following price:

  • We become fruitless (loss of favor with God)

  • Lack peace

  • Lack love

  • A feeling of unease or unsettling

  • Anxious

  • Irrational

  • Fearful

  • Feeling alone

  • Feeling abandoned

  • Stubbornness

  • Pride of life / Independent

  • Lust of the eyes

  • Lust of the flesh

  • Victim mindset

  • Selfish

  • Disobedient

  • Rebellious

  • Lonely

And if you go to the pages of the Bible, you will find many incidents of the negative consequences of not hearing from God particularly in the chapter of 1 Samuel 4. It is one of the darkest moments of Israel's history as a nation.

In this chapter, we will read the defeat of Israel as a nation, the ark of God captured, the death of the two sons of Eli, the death of Eli himself and the death of the wife of Phineas while giving birth.

The conclusion in the last verse was that the glory has departed from Israel. A lot of death and consequence happens in this one chapter of the Bible. It is a very depressing time for Israel. Why did God share all this negative depressing stuff from the Bible? He did this this in order to warn us and to teach us a very valuable lesson on the consequences of sin and disobedience.

God wants us to learn from the horrible mistakes that people had made in the past when they do not hear and listen from God's voice.

Food for Thought

"Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another."

– Alfred Adler

"A wise old owl sat on an oak. The more he heard, the less he spoke. The less he spoke, the more he heard. Why aren't we all like that old bird?"

- Unknown Author

Just as love of God begins in listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. It is God's love for us that He not only gives us His Word but lends us His ear. So it is His work that we do for our brother when we learn to listen to him."

Question to ask yourself?

"How might remaining present and forming a deeper connection with others improve your relationships?"

In Exodus 35, Moses is writing about the Tabernacle (God's Holy Place). During these passages the people are asked to bring forth their possessions, out of pure self will. All their earrings, noserings, necklaces, jewelry of gold & silver, blue, purple and scarlet thread, fine linens, goats hair, red skins of rams & badger, artisan spun yarn, onyx stone, spices & oil for light, anointing oil & sweet incense and free-will offerings and acaia wood.

However, they were in the wilderness! Where would they acquire these things? According to Exodus 12:33-36 how did God equip them? How does God equip us today? We are the modern day Tabernacle of God through the Holy Spirit that lives in us. Therefore, what God calls us to bring forth, He has already equipped us through the Holy Spirit!

In these passages different people possessed different resources and skills, God, in His sovereignty, ensured that when all the individuals (like you and I) contributions came together, His people had everything they needed. You have everything you need with the Holy Spirit's help. Call on him to tell guide you and then bring it forth to honor and give God the glory.

How has the Lord blessed you with possessions, wealth or resources you can use to serve Him and build His Kingdom?


Take Advantage of the Resources we have put together for you!

When you utilize the workbook along with these resources, you will create lasting and undeniable results! 

Click HERE

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