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How hard it is to listen
Feb 13, 2018
This post is my reflection after spending time working in the industry as a professional and my experience active in several student organization when I was in college.
I know I love to speak about things I know and/or I like. I love to express my opinion which usually carefully craft in my mind, but I know sometime I hard to stop. Sometimes I miss one important thing which is to listen.
As a professional company hires me to work and to tell them what, how, and why do things. I tried hard to be thoughtful about how I craft my opinion, but sometimes I do one wrong thing, too much speak until I can’t even listen.
Yesterday I go to work as usual and sit at my workstation, with my 24-inch monitor and MacBook attached and I typing and giving some commands to the computer through my keyboard and mouse. Then something interesting happens. You know, in workplace people who sit beside you or anyone in the office is as smart as you and even better. I have a workmate, she is very smart, lots of experience, leading a department, and well-respected engineer in my company. She always wants to express anything in any context what she thinks right. Yes, she usually right. However, right doesn’t mean best. I know a lot of fellow engineers who knows better than her in some particular subject than her and the difference is he prefer to express an opinion after he knows the problem thoroughly, and in just in time manner, if you ask the answer, if not nothing.
I know lots of successful people work success because he good at speaking and have a bunch of ideas to speak in mind, this is not wrong, but I believe diversity of opinion matters, because we need to see any particular problem from many point-of-view, so we can solve the problem better and even solve the problem from the root, we found the cure.
Another thing that I see with my super extrovert ambitious work mate is when you ~seems~ to know better in a particular subject than any other people you talk with, you are becoming an old-school TV that always speaks without a pause button, only power off button or mute button who can stop you. I become to understand how hard it is to stop, because of you excited, because of you are a so-called expert, because whatever, because it is just hard to stop speak about something you interest with.
When I was studying in Engineering Physics Department, I got a subject called Control Engineering, where I taught that in a system there is a natural response, where it is triggered by an impulse and the system under observation will return a natural response. Same like us, the natural response is we can’t stop to talk about something we interest with, yeah this is not bad at all, but if you becoming more speaking than listening, the problem starts to occur, you neglect other opinions, and you feel you are always right. The actual situation is not like that, you need to listen to see the problem you want to solve in other point-of-view to enrich your consideration. Imagine how good the solution for a problem that you analyzed with many different point-of-view?
So what’s the cure?
Back to Control Engineering, actually we can give the system a kind of input or design a controller to make the response becomes forced response, yeah we need to define our input (e.g. hearing about people talk about subject we interest with) and create a controller (e.g. remind yourself to limit how much time we talk and spend some time to listen)
Finally, it is just my random thoughts, I hope I can listen better and not as selfish as a teenage version of me where I think I always right.