Don’t Bother Me … I’m Not Listening

1 Dec

Oh my gosh. I just did this the other day. I tuned out the world.

Why? Because I thought I was right. Why take in any more input? I had already made up my mind.

My attitude was ‘don’t bother me … I’m not listening.’stock-photo-15714936-kid-covering-ears - compressed

Well, it turns out that this can be a very shortsighted approach.

Appreciating the value of other people’s ideas can reap great rewards – for a bunch of reasons.

First, we just simply can’t think of everything by ourselves (options, consequences, advantages, challenges etc.).

In addition, we all have different experiences and backgrounds that we can bring to a situation. If we only look at things from our own perspective, we lose the chance to tap into others as a resource.

You never know, someone else may have a way to make your approach, solution or idea even better. Or that person can point the pitfalls that you hadn’t even considered.  Being a devil’s advocate or reality testing can help you to work through the weaknesses or downsides of your plan.

Sure, there may be disadvantages of being open to the opinions of others.  It might take you a bit more time than just coming to your own conclusion(s).  You may have to figure out how to listen to something you just don’t want to hear.

But, I think it’s worth the effort and have already started putting this into practice. I am putting out the ‘welcome mat’ for feedback from others. What that means to me is to keep an open mind and not close my eyes and cover my ears like the little boy in the picture.

That way I can take in as much information as I can and use the ‘team approach’ to enhance my contribution too.


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  1. What did you say? | The Olive Branch - June 15, 2015

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