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Along with the readings, the combination of an S-C behavioral blend (Uniquely You) and an insightful relational style (Queendom), I learned that I am an empathetic listener in regards to interpersonal communication with close friends and family, but especially so with my students. According to Burley-Allen (1995), while empathetic listeners are patient and compassionate, this listening style can lead to the rescuer listening mode (p. 113). Rescuer listeners try to solve the speaker’s problems, and think for them (Burley-Allen, 1995, p. 113). Burley-Allen (1995) illustrates in the readings that this type of behavior is neither helpful or healthy, because a) the speaker can become a dependent listener; thus, unable to think through their own problems (p. 113), and b) the listener can become overly emotional; thus, create a communication barrier that impacts effective listening (p. 59). Believers are encouraged to be other-oriented, servant-leaders; however, as I reflect on my listening behavior in terms of my faith journey, I wonder if my need to solve the speaker’s problem is out of a sense of ministering to the “least of these” (students), sharing the Gospel (friends and family) or more selfishly, being liked/accepted. Through the readings I have learned that it is better to listen without the emotional barrier, and allow others to solve their own problems. Hence, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” (author unknown). This saying about self-sufficiency further highlights Burley-Allen’s (1995) point about allowing the speaker to solve their own problem (p. 113). As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:6-8 and Philippians 4:6-7, it is the believer’s job to plant the seed, but God will make it grow. After we plant the seed, we are not to be anxious about anything, but through prayer make our requests known to God. Going forward, I will also employ the Listening Response Situation to meet this particular communication need.
Burley-Allen, M. (1995). Listening: The forgotten skill: A self-teaching guide (2nd ed.). New
York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Carbonell, M. (2008). How to solve the people puzzle: Understanding personality patterns –
With online profile code. Blue Ridge, GA: Uniquely You Resources.
Queendom the land of tests; Queendom: personality tests, IQ tests, mind games, love tests,
career tests; http://www.queendom.com/