Your ears are your intake values. They feed your mind raw materials which can be converted into creative power. We learn nothing from telling. But there is no limit to what we can learn by asking and listening.
Try this three-stage program to strengthen your creativity through asking and listening;
- Encourage others to talk. In personal conversation or in group meetings draw out people with little urges such as, “Tell me about your experience . . .” or “What do you think should be done about . . .?” “What do you think is the key point?” Encourage others to talk and you win a double-barreled victory: your mind soaks up raw material which you can use to produce creative thought and you win friends. There is no surer way to get people to like you than to encourage them to talk to you.
- Test your own views in form of questions. Let other people help you smooth and polish your ideas. Use the what-do-you-think-of-this-suggestion approach. Don’t be dogmatic. Don’t announce a fresh idea as if it were handed down on a gold tablet. Do a little informal research first. See how your associates react to it. If you do, chances are you’ll end up with a better idea.
- Concentrate on what the other person says. Listening is more than just keeping your own mouth shut. Listening means letting what’s said penetrate your mind. So often people pretend to listen when they aren’t listening at all. They’re just waiting for the other person to pause so they can take over with the talking. Concentrate on what the other person says. Evaluate it. That’s how you collect mind food.
~ David J. Schwartz, The Magic of Thinking Big, (1959)