On a recent trip to the US, my wife and I had planned on visiting 6 different households.
On impulse, I decided to pack 6 knife sharpeners to gift one to each of these houses. I feel strongly about sharp kitchen knives and I felt that most houses lacked the indispensable means to keep them sharp.
I sensed that my wife would not approve of this idea. I told her that while I was prepared to listen to her protest, I had already made up my mind. I then listened to what she said. In the next minute, she mentioned several reasons why 6 knife sharpener packages would not be compatible with our plan to travel hand-luggage only.
As I listened to her, my decision completely changed. Despite what I had said earlier, I could see how my idea was ridiculous – one that I would have later regretted. In that minute, my wife had taken the edge off my plan.
We condition our minds to be hard and brittle. Listening without judgement is what makes them malleable.