Written By Andre Gutierrez
Author Bio: Andre Gutierrez is a student and an enthusiast of poetry from Manila, Philippines. - Facebook: @andregeeee
How many of us were involved in conflicts that didn't end well? How many of us were eager to speak and voice our thoughts inside during meetings? But most importantly, How often do we listen to other people?
I was born and raised in a conservative yet secretive family. My family is very open- rather, my mom. But dad was the exact opposite of mom. He was quiet, reserved, and only kept things to himself. When they met and made a family, there were certainly terms and conditions they had to agree. That's why everything we talk about is only filtered in the four corners of our wall. Whenever conflicts arise, our dad would remain silent, but would nonchalantly resolve it through speaking to mom. Mom was his medium to us.
If there's one thing my mom taught me, it is to know how to speak up. My mom is vocal, opinionated, and frank. I don't question her since I know I'm exactly the same, I got my traits from her. She taught me how to say 'no', especially when I feel uncomfortable, to fearlessly speak my mind, to be independent, to fight for what I believe in, and to believe in my opinion only. But, the only thing that she didn't teach me, is when to speak.
During meetings, your boss discusses something important. at the end of the discussion, she wants her employees' thoughts be laid down on the desk for their contribution. so what does she do? She gathers all information from everyone present at the desk. She doesn't conclude a decision because he wants to hear everybody's thoughts. She wants different perceptions. Why do companies hire different personalities? Because they want to view the side of each and every different person and different perspectives. She listens. She considers everybody's opinion before she finally concludes a decision. If you're the last person to speak, you will be able to hear different sides of a story, situation, or a problem. If you're the last person to speak, you acknowledgingly let people be open and compose their own thoughts. If you're the last person to speak, you manifest different perceptions, allowing you to be familiarized and comprehend with the subject and allow you to think outside the box. If you're the last person to speak, you are formidably paving a way to other people who wants to be heard. Not just heard, but listened to. And the best thing to do is just listen. Because sometimes, we do not listen to understand, we listen to reply. I know this, because I've been in this position too. I always come forward with an open mouth, but not with an open mind. It's hard, it is a long journey of patience, but that is where you will learn to speak the last. Listening will give you the power to understand people and their vulnerability, and it will give you the power to grow, not just for yourself, but for others, too.