As I wrote in my last post, not actively listening to others will eventually lead to a person failing in their job. One of the major reasons is that a person who doesn’t listen or attempt to understand others will ultimately end up mistreating people.
Why is this true? Because not actively listening to others means we won’t truly know and understand a person’s motives, thinking or perspective. Without listening it’s impossible to understand who they are and where they’ve come from as people. When this happens it’s easy to slip into thinking of people as “cogs”, “parts” or “resources” and not as individuals.
Now take a moment to think about how we treat things such as cogs, parts, and resources. Don’t we use, leverage, manage, drain, control, and abuse them if it advances our agenda? Such behavior and attitudes may be ethically acceptable for inanimate objects but they are clearly wrong when it comes to people. Treating people as things is simply mistreatment of people.
And mistreat of people is obviously unacceptable for those who want to make an enduring and positive impact on both the lives of others and the world.
So to avoid slipping into this pattern of seeing and treating people as things we need to lead through relationships because relationships requires listening and listening leads to understanding. And when we understand others we’ll treat them for who they truly are – people created by and in the image of God.