Ink on Mixed Media Paper – Words: Jimi Hendrix

We often categorize people into two camps, talkers and listeners. Those who process by saying things out loud and those who process by thinking to themselves. Here Jimi Hendrix puts a new spin on things, knowledge and wisdom. The true sign of leadership is knowing when to employ each skill.

Time and experiences give us the ability to tell stories and share our expertise with others. They say experience is the best teacher, especially when it is someone else’s experience. As we mature and learn things we want to share that information with others. Sometimes we are not the best source or teacher for that person, they need to learn for themselves. It is at this point at we have to turn off our knowledge and turn on wisdom; most of the time listening is the more important skill to employ over talking. People will let you know when they want your opinion, if they don’t ask it is usually more prudent to listen.

It can be tough to listen when we know so much. It can be hard to contain talking about ourselves when most people want to talk about themselves, not us. So knowing when to talk and when to be quiet so they can talk THAT is true wisdom, and wisdom only comes with patience and letting go of our own need to be the center of attention.

Maybe today is a good day to practice wisdom. Instead of talking first, talk last. Instead of sharing all your knowledge ask the other person some open ended questions to get them to talk, your job then is just to listen. The best conversationalist isn’t he world are not the best talkers, they are the best listeners.