Recently, I met with a CEO to explore whether our consulting firm could help his firm launch a new offering they were bringing to market. He and his marketing director were explaining their approach when I opened my mouth and stepped right in it. Lobbying for an alternate approach for them to consider, I filibustered the conversation with my opinion on market trends and ideas like competitive sustainability. The CEO politely listened, then explained why my idea wouldn’t work. Undaunted, and convinced I was on to something, I kept at it, offering counterpoints to his rationale. “If only he could understand the logic of what I’m suggesting, he’ll see I’m right,” I reasoned. Judging from the tone of the conversation that ensued, it was a bad call.
Regardless of whether I was “right”, in the words of this proverb, I failed to cherish understanding. How much more winsome I might have been for our firm had I sought to be more inquisitive and less desirous of being correct. In the words of St. Francis:
O divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
Your thoughts? How might you practice inquisitiveness with those you are with today?