In my speaking, often I’m asked to share the stage with experts or others who complement the program. I have such an occasion in my current round of safety seminars. I’ve worked with several ‘experts’ who have been given instructions from the one contracting our services and they’ve all done what is asked of them. Until now.For reasons that cannot be explained, this presenter has ignored the directions and is telling us (the hiring entity and me, the host presenter) what he’ll do. Rather than answer questions, he outlined a “here’s what I’ll cover” presentation and even crafted his own slides and sent them along (the experts have been instructed to simply comment on some points of the program and answer questions). The slides included paragraphs of information and flowcharts that were not readable. When I pinged him (for the third time) to suggest they be reformatted, his response was, “Please leave it as it is. I want the cites in the slide for me so that I make sure I cite correctly without looking at notes.” It is most notably not Rule #1 compliant and tells me that he’s only interested in his content.It’s a funny thing, advice. When we ask for it, we often don’t really want it. When it’s given freely and without request, it’s almost always hated. Here’s a guy who is standing on stage and has given me his key point, which is that when people need help, they should call him (and pay him). And yet, he is unwilling to take advice from others on an area in which he needs help (following the directions of a client and presenting). I’m sure I have similar blind spots.Proverbs tells us that “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.” (12:15). None of us wants to be foolish. But by being bullheaded and refusing to accept the wisdom others have to offer, we put ourselves squarely in that category.
Consider areas you need others’ help in. Then ask for, and accept, the advice of those who have proven wise in that area.