The Gift of Listening
Our call is not just to mentoring in general, but to spiritual mentoring in particular. And at the heart of spiritual mentoring is the art of listening:
wholly and holy listening. The late respected management guru Peter Drucker asserted that “The first leadership competence is ‘the willingness to listen.’” And in Leaders Warren Bennis wrote that “The leader must be a superb listener … successful leaders we have found are great askers and they do pay attention.”
Yet listening has often been overlooked as a key attribute of leaders. When I was young in ministry I remember spending time with several well-known leaders. After long conversations I realized that I knew everything they did, but they knew almost nothing about me! They never asked a question. Starting then I determined to be a listener to others – and later on especially to listen to younger leaders coming along.
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