“Talk Like You’re Right, Listen Like You’re Wrong.”
I can’t remember where I first heard this advice, but it’s stuck with me for a year or so now.
I have it saved in a list of mantras I keep in my phone to help me focus and reflect.
Over the past year, I think I’ve gotten pretty good at talking like I’m right. I’m a pretty confident person in most areas of my life and I’m not afraid to give my opinion. I sometimes refrain from sharing my opinion when I don’t think it’s beneficial or when my “talking like I’m right” could discourage others from sharing what they think.
The “listen like you’re wrong” part is taking me a little more time to get down.
I’m getting better, but it’s hard to see beyond my own perspective and step out of my priorities. But I understand the benefit of being able to do those things.
If we’re so focused on our own world, we won’t be able to build strong relationships, collaborate with others, and truly make a positive impact on the lives of others. To do all of those things, we have to step out of ourselves and understand another perspective.
I can often get there in my mind—seeing why someone else might think a certain way or believe something—but I don’t always know how to reflect that understanding in my actions while still continuing the discussion and not giving up either perspective.
It’s not easy.
But it’s about taking small steps each day, right?
I try to reflect on past instances help to see what I can do better in the future. I remember that I don’t have to respond right away and I can take time to consider more lines of thought. Finding small strategies like these and practicing them on a daily basis is helping me slowly get better at stepping out of my own perspective and see other ways of thinking.