Larry King on Listening and Learning

Here is a neat quote from Larry King I ran across earlier today:

I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.

I have been studying the first chapter of James with my sons at night, and we recently came to verse 19: “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” From this verse we talked about the importance of listening to others and about thinking before we speak. As someone once said, “God gave us two ears and only one mouth, and we should use them accordingly.”

But although I agree with Larry King that we learn much by listening, I believe that we also learn by speaking. Learning is more than just acquiring data or information. It also includes processing that information. And though we often process information just in our thoughts, I find that we also process as we communicate. Many times speaking or writing out our thoughts helps us to process information that much more effectively and thus helps us in our learning.

So although I like the wisdom and insight wrapped up in Larry’s quote, I don’t want to go so far as saying, “Nothing I say this day will teach me anything.” I would prefer to say: “If I am the only one speaking today, I will limit my learning. I will learn so much more by listening to others and engaging in conversation with them.” (Of course, Larry’s quote is much more “quotable” than mine.)

What do you say?

1 Comment

  1. Barrie says:

    Hi Ray,

    This is a very interesting topic. I do agree that you learn quite a bit by listening but I do agree with you that to use effective listening skills and to communicate either verbally or in writing can improve you knowledge level greatly. I also feel that listening is a real sign of respect for the person or persons you are with.


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