Be Skeptical As You Listen
We are all aware of the ineffectiveness of Congress today and for much of the recent past. The news (fake or otherwise if there is any such thing) bombards us with examples. Sadly, most of that news is how one party or the other is against this or that, but seldom has a positive alternative and is often suspect. As a result, the legislative process grinds to a halt, and the country comes closer to the abyss.
We are also aware that we as human’s are flawed and by our very nature can easily find ourselves misinterpreting information, sensationalizing events and ultimately misrepresenting partial truths assumed to be facts, sometimes intentionally but mostly unintentionally.
What can we as individuals do, and what do we as a company do to foster a more understanding, diverse and positive environment resulting in maximum effectiveness? One critical thing we can do is to listen, and listening means opening our hearts and minds as well as our ears. It reminds us of the legendary Whooshey Bird, who, “the more he listened the less he spoke, the less he spoke the more he heard, the more he heard the more he learned...Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?”
As a company, we encourage all players, both insiders and outsiders, to help us not only listen but to hear. We always seek opportunities to Pay it Forward (which by the way is one of the best movies I have ever seen and should be required viewing for all school aged children). We aspire to continue learning, continue improving our skills, and continue to deliver maximum value to all who interact with us. We realize the ability to deliver is connected to the ability to not only listen but also to hear new ideas, no matter where they might originate. It is important to do this personally and professionally without judgement and to verify facts and details before ever repeating or commenting on what we heard.
I am reminded of a book I read many years ago by Don and his son Miguel Ruiz called the Fifth Agreement, a sequel to Don’s original piece called the Four Agreements. The teachings and the lessons in these pieces apply not only to our personal lives but to our professional lives as well (and similarly should be required reading for school aged children). For Scythe & Spade, the following paragraph, paraphrased is quite applicable to our approach to Due Diligence:
BE SKEPTICAL AS YOU LISTEN, BE SKEPTICAL BECAUSE MOST OF WHAT YOU HEAR IS NOT TRUE. WHEN YOU LISTEN, YOU NOT ONLY HEAR BUT BEGIN TO FEEL AND ALSO TO UNDERSTAND. THE TRUTH DOES NOT COME WITH WORDS, IT IS SILENT… SILENT KNOWLEDGE. THE TRUTH LIES WITHIN, SO BE SKEPTICAL OF WHAT YOU HEAR WHEN YOU LISTEN.