James 1:19 says, “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” Have you ever responded too quickly only later to regret it? Unfortunately, I think we all have at times. The above verse is one I’ve prayed with regularity over the years–that God would help me to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. I’m a fairly easy going guy, but when certain people get under my skin about certain things I’ve had a tendency to lose my cool at times. What about you? Let’s say a coworker makes a bogus accusation against you. What if it’s your boss making the claim? I think you’d agree that many of us are much more quick to respond in anger rather than listen when confronted with certain people or situations. So how can we be quick to listen rather than quick to explode? Recently, I was looking at this verse and something hit me that I had never seen before. Who is it that James says we are to be quick to listen to? I always thought it was the person talking, however, the verse doesn’t say that. It simply says be quick to listen. Perhaps this is a clue to how we can make this skill a reality in our lives. What if James is telling us that, in addition to listening to the other person, we should also be listening to God? Perhaps he’s saying the only way we can truly be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry is to tune in to God’s frequency and ask Him how we should respond before we actually say anything. What do you say? Are you open to giving this a try? If you do, I believe you will see great improvement in your ability to respond in the manner that James instructs. And I believe you will see an increase in your ability to influence and lead others. If you do this, you will be applying the truth at work.