The answer to that question for all of us is “not enough.”
Our culture has become very argumentative. Turn on any cable news talk show or radio station and you’ll find several “experts” arguing over some issue. Their words become weapons to win the argument. No matter how long and loud they shout at each other, I never get the feeling anyone learns something new or actually walks away a winner.
Too many of our conversations at work and home have also turned into debates where both parties are highlighting where they think the other person is wrong. Whether the topic is of little consequence or of major significance to our health, happiness or well-being, we tend to fight to be right.
These types of discussions are very damaging to the quality of our long-term relationships.
The word ‘discussion’ is similar to ‘percussion’ and ‘concussion’ and means someone is going to beat you over the head with their facts until you agree with them. Too many people use this strategy even though we all know when we are emotional, facts are irrelevant.
We are much better off learning to create a dialogue with those we lead and love. The word ‘dialog’ comes from the Greek root meaning dialogos, which translates into I want your meaning to flow through me.
There are times when it’s appropriate to speak up loudly to defend yourself and your point of view; but most of the time, we’d be better off listening for something we can sincerely agree with.
If you’ll make a commitment to increase the number of times you say…”You’re Right,” your relationships and results will dramatically improve because those two simple words will force you to focus on what you have in common with the other person and it will help you learn something new.
As John Wooden said, “What you learn after think you know it all is what really matters.” I think he’s right.
Let’s Get Better. Together!