Tag: Positive Motivation

We All Experience More Than We Understand

Baseball player Earl Wilson, the first black pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, experience understandquipped, “Experience enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.” Let’s face it: we’re going to make mistakes. Too much hap­pens to us in life for us to be able to understand all of it. Our experience overwhelms our understanding. And no matter how smart we are, our understanding will never catch up with our experience.

So what is a person to do? Make the most of what we can understand. Some people do that in two ways. First, at the end of each day they try to remember to ask themselves, “What did I learn today?” That prompts me to “review the page” of my notebook for the day. The second thing they do is take the last week of every year to spend time reviewing the previous twelve months. They reflect on their experiences—successes and failures, goals accomplished and dreams unmet, the relationships that built and the ones that lost. In this way, you will be able try to help close some of the gap between what  is experience and what is understand.
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We All Experience More Than We Understand
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The Best Leader Are Listeners

Steven Sample, in his book The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership, writes, “The average person suffers from three delusions:  that he is a good liver, that he has a good sense of humor, and that he is a good listener.” Plus, Steven Sample says, “Many leaders are terrible listeners; they actually think talking is more important than listening. But contrarian leaders know it is better to listen first and talk later and when they listen, they d so artfully.

The positive benefits of being a good listener are much more valuable than we often recognize. According to Jim Lange in his book Bleedership:

A couple of rednecks are out in the woods hunting when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are rolled back in his head.

The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls 911.

He frantically tells the operator, “Bubba is dead! What can I do?” The operator, in a calm, soothing voice says, “Just take it easy. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.”

There is silence, and then a shot is heard.

The guy’s voice comes back on the line and says, “Okay, now what?”

As this story about rednecks illustrates—we can hear what is said without really listening to what is being communicated. The hunter above heard what the operator told him and technically did make sure that his hunting companion was dead. But had he really been listening, I don’t think he would have shot his partner.

The story may seem silly, but it contains an important truth. When we hear without really listening, our leadership is hound to suffer—and so will our followers. This study that stated proved that we hear half of what is being said, listen to half of what we hear, understand half of it, believe half of that, and remember only half of that. If you translate those assumptions into an eight-hour work day, here is what it would mean:

You spend half your day—about four hours—in listening activities. • You hear about two hours’ worth of what is said.

You actually listen to an hour of it.

• You understand only thirty minutes of that hour.

• You believe only fifteen minutes’ worth.

• And you remember less than eight minutes of all that is said.

The Best Leader Are Listeners
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