Strive To Learn Something In Every Interaction

Learning and teaching. I think most of our interactions with others can be summarized that we are either learning or we are teaching. One is primarily about listening, one is primarily about talking. Of course during a conversation you can flip back and forth between talking and listening. Both are necessary, but which one do you primarily operate from? Where do you naturally go first?

One of my triggers I've developed to help me starts withe the feeling of having to argue more to make a point, or just generally feeling like people aren't getting what I am saying. It is a pretty clear indication I need to stop talking and listen more. I need to go into learning mode so I can understand the other position or what details I'm not understanding. If people aren't getting what I'm saying, and it seems simple, I'm probably missing some details that are making it less clear for others.

The alternative is spending more time coming up with strategies and bullet points of evidence to support my position. This usually doesn't win many people to your side. If someone disagrees with me, arguing why I'm write is usually not effective. If I do come out a victor it usually then means a bridge has been burned with the other person, hopefully repairable but you never know.

Start from a position of learning, understand what the obstacles are and work with people to overcome them. Most people just want to feel like they are being heard, that their opinion matters. We all need to continue to get better at learning. So much energy in this country is spent arguing and debating things that could be resolved if everyone wanted to actually learn about the other side. Instead the effort is spent proving why I'm right and you are wrong and surrounding myself with people that are on my side. We've tried that, and this is where we are. Lets try learning a new approach.


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