Quick to Hear – Meditations of the Heart

Welcome to the latest article on the Quick to Hear approach to communication. I hope that those who have been taking this journey with me over the past few weeks have been taking the time to integrate the Guideline (discussed in the last article) into your own communication. I know it is hard work right now. I assure you it gets easier as you make all the parts of Quick to Hear a habit.

In this lesson, we will begin the first of five articles on the “Meditations of My Heart.” This part of the 19:14 Model is so important.  I show this relative importance in the graphic below.  Note that the cog wheel representing “Meditations of My Hear” is larger than the cog wheel representing “Words of My Mouth.” I will further emphasize this part of Quick to Hear by doing a separate article on each step in the process. As with previous articles, I will ask you to begin using each step immediately. This is important. If we do not begin using what we learn soon after learning it, we will likely forget what we learned. Let’s not waste the opportunities we have to become better communicators.

Meditations of My Heart

This part of the 19:14 Model updates what was the Think & Feel component of the Smart Talk I taught to intelligence and law enforcement personnel for many years. Working on these steps is really going to make you a better communicator.  It is the aspect of communication that is missing for most people. Effectively applying the four steps of Meditations of My Heart is going to make you much more effective in your communication with other people. So, I want you to make sure you dedicate yourself to learning and practicing the information in the next five articles. L

Meditations of My Heart (or just Meditations) consists of four steps that function similarly as the four steps in the Smart Talk model of Intelligent Communication. If you want to review that, you can review an earlier article here.  See the graphic below for the four steps of Think & Feel in Smart Talk and Meditations of My Heart in Quick to Hear.

ST and 1914 Models

Four Steps

These are the four steps of Meditations:

  • Hear (Listen)
  • Mind (Think)
  • Heart (Feel)
  • Will (Plan)

Why these four steps? I referenced this in previous articles, but I will review it here. The first of these steps, listen, is an application of James’ directive to be “quick to hear and slow to speak.” There is so much wisdom involved in being quick to listen, we list it first among the steps we accomplish as we meditate on what is being communicated to us and how we will communicate in response.

The other three steps represent aspects of our inner life that are also vital to effective communication. We have a mind, a heart, and a will. The heart and mind are particularly mentioned in the Scriptures as ways in which we are to communicate love to our God. Our will represents our decisions on how we will act upon what we hear (listen), think (mind), and feel (heart). Pastor/theologian Jonathan Edwards captured this idea by defining the will as “the mind choosing.” The will links the “meditations of my heart” with the “words of my mouth” (Ps.19:14).

Meditations and Effective Communication

If we want to fully understand what others are communicating to us, we must work through these steps continuously. Why do we seek greater understanding? Well, my previous career as an intelligence officer taught me that people will often give you the information you need to achieve your goals through communication. You simply need to understand what they say and respond in the right way to move the conversation towards your objectives and your goal. Further, we exercise love of our neighbors by making the effort to understand them better.

Now, this process may seem somewhat mechanical and not something you can do “on the fly” in a conversation. But, you can do this. I do this and so do hundreds of students I have taught. As you practice, it becomes automatic. You are no longer doing it consciously. You just do it. But this takes practice. This is why I include practical exercises at the end of each article in this series and encourage you time to practice them.

Practical Exercise

This is a short article, as I will be using the next four articles to go over the Meditations of My Heart in greater detail. I will cover one step in each article. But that does not mean that you do not have some homework to do. In this practical exercise, I want to connect what we are about to learn (Meditations) with what we have already learned (the Guideline). This will also prepare you to learn the four steps of Meditations in a practical context.

Go back to the practical exercise from the last lesson on the Guideline. Think about those interactions you prepared for using the Guideline. Consider the goal you set and the interim objectives you identified to help you achieve your goal. Now, think about the information you would want to understand about the other person and the situation to help you achieve your goal and interim objectives. Ask yourself, how would I gain this understanding? The next four articles will help you answer that question, but it is good to start considering it now.

Now find the time to work through this practical exercise. I will be back soon with the next article, where we will discuss listening; the first step in the Meditations of the Heart.

Be swift to hear and slow to speak,

rjm

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

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