Sometimes you have to shut the eff up.

I enrolled in a mini-golf school over the weekend, which consisted of several Tiger-wannabes like me and an old touring pro who could have taught Tiger a thing or two himself.

All of us wannabes were at about the same level, although I’m proud to say I wasn’t the worst in the bunch.

Interestingly enough, the worst in the bunch was also the loudest in the bunch.

For some reason, he thought he knew a lot about the golf swing.  And he was constantly interrupting our instructor . . . offering his own thoughts on what was just said, suggesting another way to think of the exercise, and even offering some of us other students a tip or two (!).

I couldn’t help but think how much better of a golfer this guy might be if he spent less time thinking he had the answers, and listening to the expert that actually did have them.

I had this problem when I was coming up in the world.  I remember being on a conference call early in my career about a complicated labor issue and interrupting the labor expert who we had brought in to advise us on how to proceed.  With one finger over his lips, my boss taught me the valuable lesson of learning by listening.

Yes, be opinionated.  Yes, ask questions.  No, don’t always accept what you’re told as gospel, no matter who it’s coming from.

But you don’t have all the answers.  No matter how smart you are.  No one does.

The best Producers/Writers/Entrepreneurs love to listen . . . because they learn on how to be even better.


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  • Ilene Argento says:

    Good points! But, I must say …. I’m ‘listening’ carefully and need to know … was it a MINI golf clinic or a Mini-Golf clinic? I’m picturing windmills and castles!

  • janis says:

    I’m amazed at what I learn if I really ‘listen’ to what I read. In college, far too often I read to pass a test or complete an assignment, but I didn’t learn as much as I should have because I didn’t ‘listen’ to what I read. (the classics for example)

    Sometimes I do that now, but when I really “listen” to what I read, I’m amazed at what I learn.

    “Listening” to what I read here is a good example. It’s amazing how much I learn from really listening to this blog.
    Thank you for sending it.

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