Joanna Cox does a great job for us in our Adult Education Friday Mailing. She always concludes with something quotable – this week it is Jenny Rogers on Adult Learning:

Many discussions in adult, further, or higher education and training are far from being as free or equal as they need to be because tutors, often unconsciously, guide, manipulate and dominate proceedings. …….It is hard discipline as a tutor to keep you mouth shut, to listen, and to show signs of listening instead of talking. Most of us are good at talking and especially enjoy talking about our subjects. Not talking can be exquisite agony, as any experienced tutor will know.

We don’t think much about lsitening. In our churches skills are developed using mouths rather than ears. We talk about “good preaching”, “good singing”, “leading prayers” and “reading well”. We don’t talk about “listening” and we don’t bother thinking that much about how we can improve our listening (turning up the volume and installing a loop is about hearing, not listening). What can be really annoying is listening to a preacher who doesn’t listen – to God or his brothers and sisters. It seems only fair to me that if a preacher is inviting us to listen to him/her, s/he should return the favour.
I came across “Nonviolent Communication” aka “Compassionate Communication Skills” the other day. Marshall Rosenberg created Nonviolent Communication and is Founder and Director of Educational Services for the Center for Nonviolent Communication. Here is a clip on nonviolent communication.

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