Learning to “Leave the Bone Alone”

By June 4, 2013 January 25th, 2017 Articles on Leadership

Last Updated on January 25, 2017 by Dave Schoenbeck

I was reading an article in a very prestigious Jazz music magazine, and the quote from the article and a very famous jazz artist was………”these young guys, they can play the X%@& out the horn, they know all the modes, they know all the chords, they know how to manipulate everything. They can play high, they can play low, they can play fast. They have all of this technique – it’s amazing what they can do. But the only thing they can’t do, he added, is to leave the bone alone.”

If you are a jazz musician, this translates into “know when to quit playing, shut it down and listen, and let the music and musician speak”.

When was the last time you felt the need to fill the silence during a tense discussion? How well did you fight the primal urge to fill in the blanks of every delayed ponderous response? Did you want to provide all of the answer and bark out a bit of brilliance? I know I sure have!

Less is more!

Silence is better!

Asking more questions work… even though it seems like it takes foorreevvveerrrr.

Self-discovery is much more powerful and long lasting than spouting out a list of solutions.

For me, a huge lesson learned the hard way. Color me humbled and energized about the next time I choose to patiently listen, coach, and mentor instead of telling.

Dave Schoenbeck
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