In the spirit of being honest as the title of my blog suggests, I want to confess something that I have noticed about myself. I, despite how hard I try, at times have difficulty listening to people that I disagree with. I think it is very common (but maybe I’m just projecting) that instead of trying to understand what someone is talking about I immediately look for ways to show them why they are wrong, and more importantly, that I am right. Guess what happens to the conversation when two or more people with the same method take opposite sides of a conversation!
Anyway, I PLAN to make a stronger effort to understand people and what they say before I react to it. My wife, while reading over this, tells me that my personal focus in this area needs to be 1) listening to others as opposed to waiting for them to take a breath and interject my own thoughts and 2) listening to someone else fully instead of simply formulating my responses while they are speaking. I have found myself being much less arrogant, condescending, and flat out rude when I take the time to think about my response. That may mean that I don’t “win” an argument, but does anyone ever win one of those? When was the last time everyone else at the table said “You know what? You were right and I was wrong. Thanks for sharing.”?
On a similar note, this article from Scientific American gave me a lot to think about in disagreements both online and off.