Listening to Others

“There are lessons to be learned by listening to others.” – fortune cookie

My youngest son kept the fortunes from our Chinese food dinner last night and this one in particular stood out to me as being worthy of further consideration. As a business manager and a father I am often in the position of having to reconcile divergent viewpoints and of receiving feedback on my performance, often from the most unlikely sources.

I’ve learned over time that nearly everyone has something valuable to offer most of the time. I’ve also observed that the most vociferous do not necessarily offer the most valuable solutions and that the quietest often miss their opportunities to contribute for a variety of unfortunate and often predictable reasons. The quality of contribution also does not seem to be dependent upon the level of involvement. Whether the person is a stakeholder or a casual observer, it pays to listen to what those who care enough to speak up about something have to say.

When the people in your world care enough to talk, care enough to listen. There may be a valuable lesson in there somewhere that could save you a lot of trouble down the road.

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