During life you pick up knowledge and skills. What you know and do is something you have learned. If you want to develop and get better you have to listen and learn. The learning process consists of various phases but listen and learn belongs to the phase of sharing knowledge.
You always have to communicate your experiences and you have to convey your findings with a positive focus. But communicating is a two-way experience where one speaks and the other listens. By telling your story you learn by expressing your experience, but by listening you get someone else’s perspective and that can change your understanding and help you develop.
It can be hard listening to other people’s perspective because it emphasises your failure. It can be extremely difficult to ask for criticism, because if there is something you can do better it is natural to think that your result was not good enough. But remember that nothing is perfect and the world would be a boring place if it were perfect.
There is always something you can do better! That is how successful people think and that is why they are successful. The result is not as important as the process and it is the process towards the goal that successful people enjoy. Be open to criticism and embrace it when people give it to you – even if the criticism is given unasked.
A few years back I volunteered to help on an event and one day, at a meeting with the project manager, he said to my face that he could not work with me because he did not like my attitude. I was surprised and very hurt by the criticism. The criticism hit me so hard that I did not have the strength to ask him to elaborate. I stopped working on the project, but I took the criticism to heart and today I am happy he had the guts to tell it to my face, because that helped me to be more successful.
I will give you three important steps to listen and learn:
- Share your experience.
- Listen to other people’s perspective.
- Think your learning over.