Joy Together

Listening is being able to be changed by the other person.

Alan Alda

I always took great pride in my ability to accomplish a lot. I was one of the fastest “Check it off, it’s done” people I knew. Can you identify? 

Several years ago, during a leadership program I attended, I pulled aside the leader and told her, “I am getting impatient with all these people. They seem to take forever to come to a decision and want to just talk on and on and on.”

She looked at me and smiled. “Pat, I know that you are capable of accomplishing a lot. I’ve seen it. The place I think you need to look now for the sake of your leadership is the idea that maybe in your hurry to accomplish so much, to check things off your list so quickly, you haven’t considered that what you are accomplishing might be very small. What if you were to be more open to others’ ideas and input when you present yours? Perhaps what you accomplish would be much bigger.”

I got mad and then I got grateful.

She was right.

When I began to open up and listen and practice patience and being fully present and mindful, I was able to see more possibilities and became more aware of who the people were that might want to help me in playing a bigger game.

Can you see how changing this belief also helped me change an assumption I had? The assumption I had was that “I can do this on my own. No one will want to be a part of this. No one will want to help me.”

Well, I learned that old assumption was very wrong. I have found over many years that people want to help each other and be a bigger part of each other’s worlds. They just don’t know how. And maybe we’re just the ones to show them how by inviting them to help us our bigger games real.

We can do it better, together. This is now my viewpoint.

Written by Pat Obuchowski