Saturday, January 24, 2009

Can we talk?

Abraham Lincoln always fascinated me even at a young age. So, I knew about his "team of rivals" and willingness to listen to everyone's opinion. I thought that he was a great man and a little nuts. After all, who would invite his or her rivals to help in running a government? I use to believe that great men and women had the answers and then let others in on their findings. Wrong.

Studying great individuals reveals that they share an attitude of openness. They listen to and understand what other people suggest, and glean from conversations the most important information. Listening makes them no less passionate about their beliefs, but connects them to the other person (even their adversary) because they begin by identifying the common goal.

So I question, how open are we? Are we willing to listen carefully, respectfully to another view of an issue or do we just shout them down and dismiss them, if not out loud, in our mind? Who knows, by listening we all might learn something.

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