QUOTES & WISDOM
TOP OF THE MIND
QUOTES & WISDOMfrom the Top of the Mind
QUOTES & WISDOM
Top of the Mind
The Need To Be Right
I’m sure you have heard the phrase: “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” This means that if we are really wanting to be influential in our organizations and families, those we are communicating with must know that we aren’t just needing to be right.
This can be a problem for some who feel that their wisdom and knowledge are what makes them valuable, and, thus, fear that if they can’t convince others that they are right, they won’t be valued or respected. In cases such as these, there is a tendency for people to spend a tremendous amount of energy either arguing for the righteousness of their perspective and/or just not being willing to listen to anyone who doesn’t agree with them.
Ironically, rather than accomplishing their goal of being seen as knowledgeable, this need to be right almost always results in others rejecting their perspective (and even them), because it seems so self-serving.
What’s the solution? Well, for those of us who truly want our ideas to be heard and understood, we need to ensure that we are not simply needing to be right, but that we are framing what we have to say in a way that others will hear as valuable. To do this, we must know what is important to them and/or what they are worried or concerned about, which means we must first be willing to listen.
Unfortunately, most of us grew up in homes where the powerful people did the talking and the less powerful people were supposed to listen. This isn’t necessarily a problem in a healthy family, however, it can create a resistance to listening as adults.
There is a quote I always share with the participants in my seminars that says, “Wisdom is the reward we get when we listen all of those times we would have preferred to talk.” Listening shows interest and caring. In addition, it can give us invaluable information on what’s important to the person we are talking to, so that when we do talk, we are framing what we have to say in ways that they will hear as valuable.
Therefore, if you don’t want your need to be seen as knowledgeable (or right) to get in the way of your being heard and valued, I suggest you take a different tact with respect to how you communicate. Try practicing curiosity and caring when people disagree with you, because once they know how much you care, they will be so much more interested in caring how much you know.
~ All the best, Dr. Bill