Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the joy of interviewing Becky Harling, a renowned speaker and multi-published author, whose life mission is to awaken hope by pointing people to Jesus. And we could all use hope, couldn’t we?
Welcome, Becky! I understand your new book, Listen Well, Lead Better, was cowritten with your husband, Steve. Please tell us about the book.
Listen Well, Lead Better helps leaders at any level consider how well they’re listening. Since listening is 80% of good communication, leaders might be sabotaging their own influence with their listening skills. In Listen Well, Lead Better we share ten good listening habits that if practiced will insure greater influence.
That sounds fantastic! What inspired you to write this book?
I realize in today’s world we have many leaders who are doing all the talking. They are focused on coming across as “the expert” rather than listening to understand.
So true—especially on social media. So, what is the primary focus of your book?
The primary focus of Listen Well, Lead Better is that you can actually grow your influence by becoming a better listener.
How has God used the message of your book in your own life?
For many years, I felt insecure in my leadership. In my insecurity I often talked more rather than less. As God began to change me, I realized that I could actually grow more confident in my leadership if I put my focus on listening to understand others. I could still hold to my own view, but I could make the other person feel valued by listening to their views.
There is such wisdom in that. Did you have any challenges in writing this book?
The greatest challenge was learning to write with my husband! While it was fun to write together, it was also challenging! We did have a lot of laughs together.
I’m so glad to hear that. How do you share Christ in your writing?
I include Christ in every book, whether it’s a leadership book, a book for families, a Bible study, or a devotional.
What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?
The themes of praising God, listening to others and God, healing anxiety, and relational healing are all themes in my writing.
How has being a writer impacted your relationship with Christ?
It’s drawn me deeper in my faith. I practice the rhythm of Worship. Wait. Write. So it forces me to spend a lot of time in God’s presence.
What would be your ideal writing place? And…what’s your actual writing place like?
I have an office, but I do most of my writing at the kitchen table because I have a beautiful view out the back windows of the mountains. The beauty of creation inspires me.
That sounds like a lovely view. Why do you love writing?
I love it, because I love influencing others to grow closer to Christ.
When did you first recognize God’s call to write for Him?
When I was a college student.
Why do you write nonfiction?
I write non-fiction because it allows me to teach life-changing principles from God’s word.
What is one thing about writing that you wish non-writers knew?
That it’s a marathon and not a sprint.
Amen! What ministries are you involved in, and why?
I speak at a lot of Christian conferences, I’m very involved in the world of missions, and I do a lot of coaching.
What do you read for pleasure? What are you reading right now?
I read nonfiction and fiction. Right now I am reading Life without Lack by Dallas Willard and With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin. (Ha ha – love it Sarah!)
Honestly, folks. I did not put her up to that. Becky, do you have a “day job” or a previous career? Does it influence what or how you write?
I’ve been a Pastor’s wife, Women’s Ministry Director and a Mission CEO’s wife. While these are sort of day jobs, they have allowed me to be flexible. I am expanding my coaching career right now and offering leadership coaching, communications coaching, and life coaching.
Do you have pets and do they inspire your writing or hinder it?
No, because my husband and I travel a lot.
Everyone struggles with time management in our 24/7 world. How do you stay disciplined and meet your deadlines?
I keep records of my time. I work for an hour or so, and then take a break and talk with someone. (I’m an extrovert!)
Recording time can be so beneficial. Now to every book-lover’s favorite topic—what’s your favorite bookstore—and why?
The Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, MI. It’s incredible. It has a coffee shop, a huge used book section and great customer service.
I dream of visiting some day. Please tell us about your next project, Becky.
My next project that will come out is called How to Listen So Your Kids Will Talk. Parents often focus on talking to their kids trying to persuade them to do the right thing. In How to Listen So Your Kids Will Talk, I show parents how to grow deeper connection with their child by giving them a voice.
Nice! I’m sure kids will want their parents to read that book. Thank you for sharing with us today, Becky!
Writing for Him,