I was thinking about this today while I was driving to the mall to buy a few things…
It’s not everyday that we are capable to listen to what someone has to say. Our capacity to listen to someone else is directly affected by our patience, how stressed we are, whether we had a good night of sleep or not and, of course, by our own personality (some are more likely to listen than others).
I’ve been working for around two and half years and through this time, I’ve had my share of meetings, met quite a few people, companies etc and I’ve noticed, mostly during meetings where we present new solutions, that sometimes the most ridiculous statements are, if you REALLY think about it, often proven to be the best ones. Clearly, everyone has an opinion and a way of seeing things. Some are quite bold, some are just as minimalists as they can be and some are just plain simple but try, at all costs, give you the impression that, whatever you were thinking it’s not what they were thinking although, when they start explaining their point of view, you end up noticing that they were, in fact, thinking exactly the same thing you were. (got confused?) Even though that last scenario can be kind of upsetting, it’s still going to happen quite often and you just got to live with it. The key thing here is what _you extract_ out of those statements, thinkings, ideas, whatever you wish to call it.
It has happened to me a couple of times now, that I end up having a cool idea thanks to something silly someone said during a meeting or while explaining some feature I implemented on some software application.
I strongly believe that listening to everyone is important and that the best ideas will always be ignited in your brain through some element, mentioned (somehow) by someone, that has nothing to do with the final idea AT ALL. Just think about it, who could really give you something new let’s say… in technology? The chances of someone saying something that could potentially lead you to a really innovative idea are a lot higher if you’re talking with a person from a completely different field of expertise. Why? Because these are the people that can genuinely think outside the box.
I’m not saying that, if you start listening to everyone you’ll start having a crapload of ideas, I’m just saying that listening to people is just a way to intensify it and increase the ideas income so to speak. I usually say that out of 100 ideas, there has to be at least ONE that is really worth a shot. Listening to consumers/clients feedback and opinions is also the path to success, and you will notice that most of the successful companies today do have this into consideration.