Patience & Listening

More often than not when you hear those words, it's being said as a parent to a child or a teacher to a student. When we perceive that the other person we are talking to is less educated and/or has less experience than we do, we have a tendency to try to teach - but at times our perceptions may be off. One of our species true flaws is measuring ourselves against others and then jumping to conclusions. It's why eye witnesses are notoriously unreliable.

With so much of our lives spent learning things, when we reach a certain age or point in our career or education level, we then convince ourselves that it's us that others should be listening to. That's the “nobody knows more than me on this subject” error in our thinking. You can accidentally shut others down by repeatedly making sure that everyone knows how extremely qualified you are. This may very easily deny ourselves an opportunity to learn a new perspective on an old subject. That prospect could even be exciting and healthy. Your mind simply doesn't want to live without the excitement of a new thought or experience. If the subject matter is something that you were drawn to in the first place, that just adds to the excitement you may experience. We must always be open to listening, no matter the subject.

Remember too: Education is a great thing; but not all education is taught in a classroom. No matter how great you are at doing something and no matter how long you've been doing it, you can simply be wrong for the time or situation. Sometimes, there is no right way to achieve something. Sometimes success is achieved purely by accident or by just jumping in and being involved. With the world ever evolving, we must take care not to shut down others. No matter how old we get, there is much to be learned and sometimes it's learned from infants and that same thing is true in every career field. Be patient and listen.

In October, we practice our habit to Be Patient and Listen at 12 Habits For Wonderful People. Join our discussions at

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