I think a big part initially is to be approachable; to show kindness, respect and appropriate curiosity; treating the person as if they are important and indeed created in the image of God. Next, is truly trying to be open and guided by the Holy Spirit, following His leading and not pressing the person for change.
Simply listen to the other without over analysing and be aware of my own deficiency; knowing I will not have what it takes to achieve the ultimate vision in the other and be read to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead. Resist the urge to provide advise or be pulled to be on side with the person.
We need to continuously and constantly nurture and feed our own appetite for God. We need to pay attention to our own journeying reality to assess if we’re still moving in the direction set in our vision, i.e. ever closer to God, to coming home. If we ourselves are totally absorbed by and lost in earthly drama and demands, we will struggle to manifest “the fragrance of grace within us.”
Life begets life. Only a life lives upon the grace of the Lord, can emit the fragrance of grace within us to others. It’s doesn’t matter if others do not reciprocate, because what they say or do, do not negate the reality that my life is a gift of grace when I placed my faith in Jesus.
“Abide in Me, and I will abide in you – apart from you, you are nothing.” Remaining in Jesus (source of grace) can I emit the fragrance of His grace.
By taking the time to listen, to show grace to others, by not trying to quickly fix or solve their problems or issues, condemn, make judgements or give advice. The fragrance of grace within me is by Christ’s Grace, mercy and love, this can overflow and be able to share this with others as they share there life’s journey with me.
Listen without cutting people off while they are talking. Listen without giving my personal stories, judgements or advice. Learn to lean in and actively listen and count on the Holy Spirit to guide.
Be curious about their journey and really listen without giving advice. Also, when we ourselves are finding our way back to God, our true joy in Him, others will see that and what that true satisfaction for themselves.
By listening with that gleam in your eye with the thought of excitement that you are sitting in front of God’s child who is about to have encounter with them and they have a foundational hunger to know that God is really their supreme treasure.