The Christian Radio Homepage

column archive








Stacy Stone
Air Personality

The Gift of Listening





I was on Pinterest last night (which is the way that most of my conversations start nowadays) and I saw a sign that said: “Listen and Silent have the same letters. Coincidence?” That started my brain wondering if, as morning show people, we are ever truly silent and listening? Our mouths may be quiet but our brains are usually going ninety miles an hour planning for the next break, next phone call or the next button to push.


And I know from personal experience that there are many times that I have been working on a news story or what I am going to say in response to what the listener is saying then I repeat exactly what the person on the phone or my morning show team had just stated. (Then Johnny gives me one of those looks…) So, the question is what gift would you give if you could be silent and listen while still creating a compelling, entertaining show?


In “Likeable Business” author Dave Kerpen (who started out selling spots for Radio Disney) teaches that listening to your customer base and employees is imperative for success in our new social world.
Chapter One of the book is on Listening and he cites the work of Dr. Gerald D. Bell and his advice to “listen like children watch TV”. When the DVD or show they really want to watch comes on, they are focused, leaning forward and impossible to interrupt. This type of listening is the perfect way to let someone know you respect them and that you value the relationship you have with them.


To listen, be silent and make the person speaking, whether on the phone or in studio, know they matter to you means that you must be working no less than ten minutes ahead of where you need to be. There is a gift given when you have the time to take a call and not just tell the person you will pray for them but actually do it right then and there. By planning your show that far ahead you may also find that there is a gift waiting for you when you ask that “question” that leads to radio greatness, all this because you were listening and being silent in all ways.


The experts say that a morning show team is a lot like a marriage and I suppose I can speak on that at both levels. Listening and being silent are imperative to the longevity and evangelism of both marriages and morning shows. Any wife can tell you the moment that her husband stops listening during any conversation and the person on the other end of that phone can also. There is a change of voice tone and responses that happens when someone is not listening or stops listening.

There is also something that is found in new love that we can take with us every time we walk into the studio: you hang on the other person’s every word, listening to their voice and learning more about them each time they speak. Just like the children watching television, young love listens and stays silent because you want to capture every moment. Can you capture every conversation with that type of intensity? Head into the studio tomorrow and try it out.


And lastly, give everyone in your life the gift of being silent and listening today. The One who will turn around and give it back to you is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Have you taken the time today to be silent and listen to Him? In the mad rush of our holidays, my prayers often sound like a visit to Santa’s lap. “Please make the ham turn out okay. Please make Madison, Ben and Peyton have the best Christmas ever. Please let Maggie’s baby be healthy and happy. And please help Johnny and I find the right jobs. Amen.” While, if I was being silent and listening, I would know He’s already got it all under control. Now that’s a gift we could all use today. Merry Christmas!


Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.   - Psalm 116:2


Stacey is Afternoon Co-host/National On-air Promotions at Family Life Radio based in Tucson. Contact Stacey at