Wisdom has two parts:
1) Having a lot to say
2) Not saying it
One common trait to nearly every great person is the art of listening. Many times, the best leaders can be among the quietest in the room. They know their time is well spent in hearing new perspectives, ideas, and thoughts. It’s how they grow personally and build visions. The wisest leaders know that hearing themselves talk is no way to build trust and goodwill.
You can do the same thing. When a friend needs to talk, resist the urge to give advice right away and just listen. Ask questions, and really try to understand the answer.
I got to put this into practice yesterday with a new business client. Quickly I knew I was dealing with someone who had years of credible experience and I felt like just listening taught me a great deal yesterday. This isn’t always easy for me to put into practice. I love people and I love to talk with people.
Over time, you can develop that leader-like sense of when to open your mouth and when to keep it clamped firmly shut. My natural enthusiasm can quickly take over a conversation, but man oh man…am I ever glad I sat back and listened yesterday!
And so life goes…on and on.