I love hanging out with my 8-year-old daughter.
She is a precious prize.
She sings with all the rasp and soul of a heart-broken Adele.
When I hear her singing “Rolling in the Deep,” I think…
Who broke up with my 8-year-old to give her so much understanding?
It makes me think about how some people just know things or know about things.
There’s a hundred reasons why they couldn’t possibly have knowledge in these areas (whether it be age, experience, or where they are in life and leadership), but nevertheless… they know. You know?
My daughter tries to tell me how to drive and how to cook. She even gives me tips for leading in life. It’s funny to me because she has never done any of these things successfully… not even once. But I don’t mind since she’s only eight.
It’s not quite so entertaining when a grown up acts the same way as my eight year old daughter.
I was recently with a group of leaders where I observed some interesting behavior.
Every time a specific person would join the conversation, others would begin to peel themselves away from the group. There were even a few instances when the group began to break apart at the very sight of this particular individual walking their way.
While I don’t condone excluding anyone, it was interesting to note how people reacted to someone who thought they knew everything. Fact is, people don’t like know-it-alls.
If you’re under the age of 30, then you’re more likely to think you know it all. Don’t take that the wrong way. We’ve all been there. It’s like that famous bumper sticker, “Hire a teenage, while they still know everything!”
This I realize… the older I get, the less I know.
Even so, there are still times when I find myself talking too much. Does this happen to you too?
If we’re being honest, then we have to put a big, fat YES at the end of that question.
Why is the compulsion to open our mouths and start flapping our gums so appealing? What is that stinking impulse that tells us…
Yep, you already know everything the other person is saying… even though they are still talking, right now would be a good time to start figuring out what you are going to say back so you can quit listening now…
Grrrrrr… I would love to tell you I have outgrown this quirk, but I haven’t. Even with a conscious effort to talk less and listen more, I still find myself chiming in when it is not necessary.
You see, I already know everything I know. So if I want to keep growing, then I need to learn what other people know by giving them my full attention.
Don’t take my word for it.
Here’s what the Book of Proverbs has to say about listening:
- Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser
- Listen when your father corrects you
- Come and listen to my counsel
- All who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm
- Listen to what I say, and treasure my commands
- Listen when your father corrects you
- Listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life
- Listen carefully to my words
- Listen carefully to my wise counsel
- Listen to me. Never stray from what I am about to say
- Why didn’t I listen to my teachers?
- So listen to me, my sons, and pay attention to my words
- Listen as Wisdom calls out!
- Listen to me! For I have important things to tell you
- My children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful
- Listen to my instruction and be wise
- Joyful are those who listen to me
- The wise listen to others
- A mocker refuses to listen to correction
- If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise
- If you listen to correction, you grow in understanding
- Those who listen to instruction will prosper
- Listen to the words of the wise
- Commit yourself to instruction; listen carefully to words of knowledge
- My child, listen and be wise
- Listen to your father, who gave you life
Wow, that is a whole lot of shut your pie hole and listen! ;)
It must mean we really have a fleshy, natural tendency to talk too much. Wouldn’t you agree?
My Turn to Listen
Since this is the case, I am going to heed this advice and shhh then listen to what you have to say in the comments below. Please share (you wise ones) how you have struggled to keep quiet while listening.
Tell me about a time when you have battled and overcome the desire to talk and be heard?