This is a hard one for me. I love to share my ideas and I have opinions about everything. But I’ve seen what listening can do and I’m doing what it takes to become a better listener (even if it includes holding my hands over my mouth – which I have to do regularly to listen).
When you are quiet, you let the smaller voice come forward. I was at an event recently with the Chattiest Cathy I’d ever seen. The group was trying to have a conversation and after every comment, she’d say something or tell a story – and much of it didn’t relate to the general conversation. Eventually Chatty had to leave and then the conversation changed. The others in the room, the ones that had been quiet started to participate and it became a fun, lively group. What this Chatty person hadn’t realized is she wasn’t helping the conversation, she was hindering it. Take time when you’re in a group setting and watch the dynamics. Remember, you don’t always have to say something – listening usually provides very valuable.
Good ideas come from anywhere. I’ve taken to looking at my surroundings even more these days. I’ve realized that inspiration can come from anywhere (yes, I’ve turned into a commercial slogan). When you slow down and look at your surroundings, you realize the great ideas that exist and are more likely to capture just how it can be beneficial to you.
Good ideas come from anyone. When we’re in a meeting in my office, I try to ask more questions than provide answers. I’ve noticed when I don’t share my ideas first, or at all, that others begin to speak up. And my team has some pretty good ideas. It was a hard lesson to learn – to be quiet and/or ask questions instead of giving answers – but it was valuable. We’ve made more and better progress the more I encourage others to participate in the solution instead of just doing things my way.
Yes, you have great ideas. But, how much better could they be if you involve others in what you’re doing?