I have a sign in my office that says, “What people need is a good listening to”. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it. It is basically my job description.
What is valuable about listening? Letting people talk. Most people simply want to be heard. They don’t necessarily expect us to solve their problems, tell them where they messed up (if they did), or give them advice. If we are able to reflect back to them that we have understood their heart, we don’t even have to agree. We simply need to acknowledge how they feel.
If you have a set of ears, and are able to keep your mouth shut and your opinions mostly to yourself, you can be a great help to the next person you encounter. Try it. You’ll be amazed at how effective you can be, the less you talk.