“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle
We all come from different backgrounds. Because of that, we have been ingrained with certain views of the world. How our parents or grandparents or others close to us choose to believe things or pledge the allegiances has a strong impact on where we are likely to place ours.
While I was in law school, I took a class on contemporary legal issues. It was a lively class where opinions flowed freely. The problem was that those debates often got so heated that the conversations turned into attacks on other people. It became right versus wrong as opposed to an opportunity to discuss and learn. This led our professor to do an active listening session, which really made us listen and entertain what the other person was saying before we were able to respond.
America has a listening problem. We no longer engage in intellectual debate because we choose not to hear what the other people are saying. We enter into those conversations with agendas and make our points with no regard for what the other person is saying. We claim to hear what the other person said, but did we really listen enough to care?
Think about the modeling our leaders are providing for our children. And this is not just a political problem. This is an everything problem. We struggle to listen in our relationships. We struggle to listen in marriages. We struggle to listen in friendships. We struggle to listen to our coaches. We struggle to listen to our players. We struggle to listen anywhere. Because the only opinion we value is our own.
Now, let me make this clear. We do not have to agree in all of these areas. In fact, we likely will not. But that does not mean the opinions of those people should be ignored, mocked, or otherwise discounted just because they differ from our own.
If you want someone to consider your opinion, then you must be willing to consider his/her opinion.
Stop trying to constantly be right or blindly push your agenda. Don’t just hear what someone else says, but listen. That does not mean you have to accept the opinion, but you might be surprised with what you will learn when you open your ears.
Bring your best today!