Remain teachable by listening to others
I’m not always right, some might say, hardly at all and of course they’re entitled to their opinions. However, when I’m talking, I think it’s very rude when someone cuts me off mid-sentence. Venting is one thing, and that’s understandable — as long as it’s in the right setting. This letter is not about venting: it’s about disrespect, selfishness and the inability to remain teachable.
When I use the word “you” in this article, I am targeting those on the other end of some of my conversations — not you, the reader.
First off, when you cut me off in mid-sentence, you’re telling me what I have to say is of no consequence or doesn’t matter. Who are you to imply that to me? You’re no better than me; your job status doesn’t matter. Your opinion is only your opinion, and normally not much more than that.
Self-centered conversation typically means there is no communication. It’s a very selfish and arrogant person who relies on their opinion and only theirs. A one-sided conversation normally comes to a quick and abrupt end. The results are more than likely not the desired one. Both parties will probably leave the conversation unfulfilled.
I had a friend, Melvin Foster, and one of his more memorable quotes was, “Always remain teachable … ” He passed away several years ago after living a nice, long life. He was a very knowledgeable man in many areas, but since he remained teachable throughout his life, he continued to grow in his accomplishments till his death. That was made possible due to his ability to listen. His grounded behavior was loved by many.
Most days I can handle these selfish interactions and just walk away. Sometimes it’s not so easy, though — especially when I need a specific answer and the person doesn’t listen to the question. Maybe they’re having a bad day or maybe they think they can read minds.
Communication is the key for human beings to progress nicely throughout the day, and we as human doings are not doing it well.
I have noticed that those who actually want help others have the ability to listen, then formulate a plan based on most of the facts and issues at hand.
I need to admit that sometimes I fail in this very same arena. When you listen to and exchange words with another person, you are showing them the respect they probably deserve — just like you do.
Jim McDonald, Port Tobacco