Don’t Be Dismissive
Why do we dismiss input that could help us? Sometimes it’s to protect our ego against a painful truth. When we have an firmly fixed opinion, we can easily adopt a dismissive approach towards the thinking of others. And not only do we hurt them, we hurt ourselves.
‘Better a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who will be admonished no more.’ (Ecclesiastes 4:13 NKJV) Yes, you have areas of expertise. But you also have areas where you need advice. The day you decide to stop listening is the day you decide to stop growing. Thomas Carlyle said, ‘Every man is my superior in that I can learn from him.’
Even if what you learn is negative or a lesson in what not to do, it’s still valuable information that can protect and enrich you. Dr John C Maxwell says: ‘What is the one thing—more than any other—that will determine the growth of an organisation? The growth of the people in the organisation. And what determines the people’s growth? The growth of the leader! As long as people are following you, they will be able to go only as far as you go. If you’re not growing, they won’t be growing—either that, or they will go somewhere else where they can grow.’
And one more thing, look for opportunities to be with leaders of good character. Watch and learn, not only what they say, but also how they treat and speak with others. To grow, you need the right associations and the right input.