Understanding: A New Year’s Resolution

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhance your decision making.


      When you see me sitting quietly
      Like a sack left on a shelf,
      Don’t think I need your chattering.
      I’m listening to myself.

      Hold stop. Don’t pity me.
      Hold. Stop your sympathy.
      Understanding if you’ve got it.
      Otherwise I’ll do without it.

           On Aging by Maya Angelou

          Ah, yes UNDERSTANDING –if you’ve  got it.

          I wonder if I have it. I wonder if I exhibit enough understanding in my decision making. Or am I too quick to see the obvious –—an old lady sitting in a chair muttering to herself. Am I too slow to realize that there could be so much more than meets the eye?

        That’s why I am focusing my New Year’s Resolution on sharpening my sense of understanding, a leadership skill that until now I’ve buried in my wish list for all leaders in active listening and emotional intelligence. Close but no cigar.

       This idea of truly seeking first to understand observed is going to take some major effort on my part in 2012.  But the rewards will be so gratifying. No wonder the Bible says in Proverbs 3:13: “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom and the man that gaineth understanding.” No wonder that philosopher Lao Tsu said: “He who knows much about others may be learned. But he who understands himself is more intelligent.”

     Maybe that’s why Confucius said the highest type of man is born with understanding. The next highest acquires understanding. The next highest seeks to understand as much as he can and the lowest class of man does not grasp that there is anything to understand. Those of the lowest class of man who won’t seek understanding sputter their thinking engines with the pollutants of procrastination, pride and prejudice. Their sense of understanding remains out standing more than outstanding.

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