Listen, or Your Tongue Will Keep You Deaf

When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new” the Dalai Lama tells great leaders. It is that simple message great leaders know and embrace deeply – they don’t know what they don’t know. They recognize that only by opening themselves to new perspectives and ideas does change occur. It is standing in the others’ shoes and seeing the world through their eyes to benefit from the magic and uniqueness of their world view. May we learn from the words of others who speak of the value of listening.

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey
“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” Bryant H. McGill
“The first duty of love is to listen.” Paul Tillich
“Never miss a good chance to shut up.” Will Rogers
“Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would have rather talked.” Mark Twain
“The worst of all listeners is the man who does nothing but listens.” Charles Dickens
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Winston Churchill
“The earth has music for those who listen.” William Shakespeare

Maimonides wrote: “Teach thy tongue to say ‘I do not know,’ and thought shalt progress.” May you listen always that you may hear the joyous and magical music that the world holds for you.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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3 Responses to Listen, or Your Tongue Will Keep You Deaf

  1. Marc D’Agostino says:

    Mike – This is the perfect reflection for this weekend, as Alison and I just dropped off our son yesterday at Ithaca for his first day of his Freshman year. We are sad but so very excited for him. We wish him the best, and are hopeful that his listening skills develop to the description you have articulated for us today.

    Thank you Mike for your inspiration, and wishing you good health and happiness.

    /Marc & Alison

  2. Maribel Landrau says:

    Morning Mike! Thank you for the article! I will retweet and post in FB. Have a great year! Maribel

  3. Jack Beach says:

    “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” What a simple but powerful insight. We generally equate leadership with the ability to influence others. Traditionally, strong leaders are seen as those who can skillfully negotiate and persuade. However, the most effective leaders not only ask themselves, “What must I do to convince others?” but “What are others trying to say to me—and why are they saying it?”

    In the complex world of today and the future, one person cannot provide the necessary leadership to keep their organizations in the forefront of their field. Therefore, leaders must not only influence but be open to being influenced. They must suspend their sense of certainly and open themselves to possible alternatives. By doing so, they move from advocacy to inquiry and the possibility of new possibilities. Moreover, by doing so, they model this behavior for all involved and nurture an organizational climate in which all are engaged in dialogue with not only each other but themselves. It is at this point that individual participants begin to share the collective leadership task of creating the conditions in which mutual learning and understanding can take place. They confer legitimacy and respect for others and their points of view—even if they do not ultimately agree. This allows the group to move beyond the accommodations of “win-win” to truly co-created and innovative outcomes.

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