Have you ever had one of those discussions with someone where you just weren’t connecting? They’re trying to get their point across. You’re trying to get your point across. For some reason, there just isn’t a connection.
I pondered that disconnect a little today and I came up with this. “You are not the smartest person in the room.” Sometimes I’m in meetings I observe others that keep talking trying to drive their point home. At other times, it’s me. Sometimes we are so preoccupied with getting our point across because we are right, that we don’t stop long enough to listen to what others are saying. At other times, we are listening, but we are not “communicating” in a way that says “I am listening. I just heard what you said.”
By adopting an “I’m not the smartest person in the room mentality”, it allows us to really listen and take in what other people are saying. Even if our initial reaction is to disagree or discount what others have said, I’m not the smartest person in the room allows us another chance at really listening. It takes out our ego, neutralizes our opinions, and eases communication difficulties.
I see this being especially difficult as you gain more responsibility within the work environment. The higher up the ladder you are, the more difficult it is to really listen. Life is too busy and its easy to shortchange the people you’re talking to.
Hopefully, I’ll have success applying this. 😉