Listening to people speak and share their stories is something I enjoy, maybe as much as you do, but probably a little more. I love listening so much that at a point in time I was thinking of creating a “Professional Listeners Club.” The club I was thinking would be made up of members who would exceptionally good at active listening. Active listening as defined on Bing.com is the practice of paying close attention to a speaker and asking questions to ensure full comprehension. Those thoughts were before I got involved in Toastmasters International which provides a more holistic educational experience on communication. If you are interested in becoming a better listener or speaker, consider joining a Toastmasters club near you.
One of the stories I heard today was from my buddy DJ and one of the many lines he mentioned during our conversation is: Never take a knife to a gunfight. This statement is very profound, when you take a few minutes to think about its meaning. As it applies to our lives, it could mean different things to different people in different situations, but the meaning that resonates more with me is this: Do not start or get involved in a situation where you don’t have the card stacked in your favor. This is a piece of advice that is usable in every aspect of your life.
Picture this: You are drafted into the army and within a week of your call to service, you are informed that you will be sent to the battlefront. Knowing your enemies will be armed with guns and have orders to kill you, will you feel comfortable going to the battle? I don’t think you would. Your victory will practically be guaranteed once you know that you will be able to match your enemy’s firepower. Nothing can beat someone who feels competent and empowered by the tools he possesses being appropriate and the possible best for the job or task at hand.
Think about that expression: never take a knife to a gunfight. Have you been using knives for situations in your life that call for guns?