Shut Up and Listen


I’m in a season of restructuring and reforming some very important systems in how things are done within my realm of responsibility.  As I work to make changes that are best for our ministry I can’t help but seek input from others.  I can not take on the attitude that I have all the answers in how I approach some of the necessary changes that need to be made.  I need to bring in others who can speak into the changes and help bring about the best solutions.

The day I take on the perspective that I am always right is the day that I have killed the chance of determining the right solution to the problem.  I may come up with a good solution but it may not be the right one.  

“The need to be right all the time is the biggest barrier to new ideas.” —Edward de Bono

I have learned that in many meetings that I am a part of I can be the loudest voice in the room.  I may not speak all that often but the tone of voice I use in addressing an issue removes the creativity from others who could share some excellent ideas.  Unfortunately I have done this in the past.

Has this ever happened to you?

I am understanding that in most cases I need to hear from others and then sit back to formulate the solution after fully hearing their ideas.  If I truly value the opinions of those that I am asking for input I need to speak less and listen more.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Drew Sams on January 31, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Good words…Paul’s admonition in Philippians 2 leading up to the Christ Hymn has really kicked my butt not only in regards to thinking I’ve got all the answers, but also my entire worldview:

    “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

    Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

    Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

    Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing,taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!

    Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    Philippians 2:3-11

    Love it!


  2. Good word Kev.


  3. Posted by Rob on January 30, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Hey Kevin, I recently had a friend of mine give me this quote – “Seek first to understand, and then be understood.” Basically, listen first, and speak last….which is difficult for many people in leadership positions and who are passionate about their area of responsibility. Just a thought….


  4. Posted by Abbie on January 30, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Thanks for this, PK. I am that way too and have been learning that more recently. I like the quote by that man. I never thought of it that way. Thanks for sharing your heart.


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