“A person is never too old to learn or too young to teach”
When our daughters were little, people would say to me, “No boys? God bless you with all of those girls.” I would smile and respond by saying, “God knew when He blessed me with three daughters that it would take that many to teach me what I needed to learn.” (Yes, I have a very hard head.)
Prior to them being born, I was very analytical, strived to always be the smartest person in the room, and could be counted on to get the job done, even if I had to run over people in the process. I was considered a “High Performer” but not a “High Potential”. The reason being that I had the “IQ” but needed to improve my “EQ”.
None of the classes I took worked. I always reverted back to my hard-charging, self-centered behavior. All of that changed once Celest and I had our three daughters, especially as they got older. They taught me what high-priced PhDs tried their best to but could not:
To listen: Specifically, to hear the spirit of what is being said, not just the words being used.
To empathize: Specifically, to relate to what the person is saying and the reasons why she is saying it.
To trust their intuition: Specifically, to follow them based on an insight they had but that I didn’t see or pick up on.
Those three things are the basis of Emotional Intelligence (EQ), which is classically defined as:
"The ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth."
I define it as the ability to listen, relate and follow. Once I honed those skills, my career took off. I went from being the smartest guy in the room to the person everyone wanted in the room. As a result, I became a “High Potential” and went on to the C-Suite.
Our three little girls have grown up to be outstanding women. I think they may now be learning a thing or two from me. (They have already learned from Celest how to be a great mother and how to stay focused on your goals.) I’m hoping the main thing they learn from me is that a person is never too old to learn or too young to teach. Most importantly, I want them to learn that girls are just as valuable and treasured as boys are.