A common perspective today is “My mind is made up; don’t confuse me with facts.” We all have ideas about what we believe is true and what should be done. King Solomon wrote, “Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge.” (Proverbs 18:15, NLT)
It is easy for my attention to drift when I hear something that doesn’t line up with what I think. Rather than close my mind to a new perspective; I try to actively listen and understand the concept. For example, some years ago I ignored the idea of writing e-books. I didn’t think anybody would pay for an e-book when you can buy a hard copy for the same price. As I listened, I learned that plenty of customers bought e-books. Had I ignored this advice, I would have lost thousands of sales.
We need to listen to the entire story or idea before jumping in with commentary. Although clarification may be necessary, we can cut off communication if we respond too quickly. Listening time is not judgment time. Judgment comes after you have all the information.
We may believe that listening sends the message that we agree. Not true. We can listen carefully with an open mind without agreeing. After we have heard the complete perspective; we can agree, clarify, or take exception.
Listen with an open mind even when you believe you have the answers. This will give you the best outcome in business and other discussions.
Steve Marr, Your Christian Business Coach
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