One of the best contributions you can make to a conversation is summed up in four words, “What do you think?”
Healthy conversation is give and take. No matter how strong you may feel in your position, without giving an ear, you lack understanding. A professor I had in college once said, “Intelligent people are not the ones who already know everything (he meant in attitude), rather they are the ones that ask the most questions (not to interrogate but to understand).”
It’s not that there is not a time to interrogate or a time speak confidently, but when we refuse to listen and understand it says more about our insecurity than it does our being right and thus does damage to our contribution to the conversation. It’s a lesson I humbly must admit that I’m still striving to learn whether speaking about relationships, theology, sports or politics. I’m the worst at interrupting.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;