Friday; October 6

When we read, are we looking to learn something or merely to reinforce what we already believe?  When we engage in a conversation, are we wanting to discover fresh ideas and new insights or are we merely hoping to convince someone of what we think?
These questions tend to point to a common malady in today’s society, but the truth of the matter is that mankind has struggled with this for ages.  The wise man of the Old Testament challenged the princes of his day, “A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own mind.” (Proverbs 18:2)  Since the creation of language man has been tempted to talk more than listen. 
When I look back at some of the wisest people I know I realize they have also been some of the most controlled people I know.  Influence isn’t about using the most words, it is about making the most of the moment. Leaders aren’t introverts, but they were willing to wait their turn to speak and plan their message so that it will enhance the mood.  They didn’t say a lot (and, often aren’t very forceful when they say it), but, when I walk away from them I feel better for having been there.  I am smarter, wiser and encouraged. 
Are we looking to make a difference with our insights.  Let’s begin by choosing what to convey, examining the best time to interject and finding the best verbal and non-verbal skills to communicate the message.
Think about it!

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