Listening to Advice - The Warrior's Journey®

Listening to Advice

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

Virginia Guard chaplain support teams support military personnel in Louisiana. Photo by Coast Guard is licensed under CC By 2.0

The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. (Proverbs 12:15)

Few enjoy being around a “know it all.” This kind of person is usually a “legend in his own mind” — but not in anyone else’s. Soldiers notice leaders who are “know it alls.” They resent those in authority over them who refuse to listen to their ideas and suggestions. While some are mature enough to overlook this kind of an attitude in a boss, others quit trying to give their best. They don’t feel that extra effort will make any difference. God is certainly clear on this issue.

From this verse it is obvious that a leader acts wisely in listening to advice — from seniors, peers and even subordinates. Only the fool has all the answers. A word of caution. If questioned, most leaders would say they are good listeners. In actuality, many don’t listen as well as they think they do. Good listening takes much practice and hard work. It’s just not easy.

If you have soldiers under you, what would they say about your openness to advice? It’s never too late to change!

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