When somebody tries to speak into your life, do you get defensive? Especially when you’re hearing the same message from different people?
The moment you become defensive your mind starts closing to another way of thinking and this could be exactly what you need to hear and act on to go to the next level.
Your perspective will defend itself.
If what you know is all you know, it may not matter if it’s true or relevant.
For many years my wife and more recently the people I work with have been trying to tell me to be more aware and vigilant about the amount of time I spend with people. Whether that is on the phone or in person; for business, at church or in the grocery store.
I have defended myself for most of those years claiming that I want to give people my undivided attention.
I am finally learning that you can give people your undivided attention in less time and that having time barriers makes me and them much more effective.
A few years ago several people on my team were telling me that I should be more focused on marketing and sales and bringing in more business.
I used a couple of things to defend myself and my stance in this regard:
- I didn’t want to continue being the the main person responsible for bringing business into the company. I wanted to raise up other people to do this.
- I wanted to make sure that we handled the business that came in with a standard of excellence and therefore I justified limiting the amount of business coming in until we could consistently deliver that standard.
While both of these perspectives were sound, the bottom line is my team was right. I needed to take responsibility for bringing more business in. If you’re not growing you’re going backwards. And at the time we were not growing and therefore going backwards. The way to get better is by taking action and learning and adjusting as you go along. When you do the thing, you learn how to do the thing.
I wish these were the only examples I could give you, but over the years there have been many others.
I’m finally learning to listen with an open mind. And not only to listen but to actively pursue and solicit feedback from those around me. – What can we do differently? What am I missing? How can we get better?
What are people trying to tell you? Are you paying attention and listening to them with an open mind or are you, like I was, defending your stance?