“It is a great thing to know the season for speech and the season for silence."
– Seneca the Elder
More Listening Needed!
I’ve been working on a few things this past year…more patience, deeper understanding of my biases and privilege, letting go and stepping out of my comfort zone. I think I’m moving the dial in the right direction. Yet, there is a major area of self-improvement that I, along with others I know, still need to work on. It’s to listen more…even allowing the other party to speak first.
Many of us are high energy, enthusiastic people who like to help, teach and mentor. However, in our efforts to coach and inspire, we often steer the conversation with our own opinions and ideas. We may even interrupt to ensure our commentary is heard, with the belief that this will help the conversation. In reality this is our ego, feeling the obligation to share OUR knowledge. With this scenario we lose a real opportunity to not only learn from the person we are talking with, but also the ability to more effectively offer guidance, if we first know where the person is coming from.
Time to pause, “zip the lips” and honor the other by listening. The silence may indeed lead to better communication.