Recently I was having coffee with a guy who had taken some advice I have given him and was raving about it. The funny thing is that he confessed to me that one of his team had given him the same advice a few months earlier and he had largely ignored it.
Often our familiarity with a person can cause us to be less receptive to a person’s opinion.
Our familiarity to our leaders, colleagues, team mates, parents, partners, or even kids can make us disregard the insights they offer.
We often have incredible respect and trust for those closest to us. We know their strengths, weaknesses and are in constant conversation with them. And all this familiarity can lead us to not even consider the firsthand wisdom they offer.
If we do this often, they will stop speaking into our life.
What a loss that would be.
There is a twofold implication for familiarity…
Firstly, we need to remember to not only listen to those closest to us, but also to take time to truly consider their opinion, rather than just shrug it off.
And, there are times when we really need to hear the truth by listening to someone who doesn’t know us well and who is respectful enough to be candid about their opinion. It can make us feel a little bit foolish, but at least we have no choice but to take notice.
The easiest path, if we’re honest, is through those closest to us.