Recognizing When to Move On

-The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.-There have been times in my career, where I have spent a lot of time going round and round with someone on a topic where there was no openness to growth. No matter what you say, the argument is already being created on why you are wrong. Oftentimes, it comes not from a place of knowledge, but a lack of it.

What I have learned is that when you realize that you are in that situation, it is time to move on, and focus on those that want to learn.

Now, there is an important difference between the notion of having ideas challenged in the pursuit of learning, as opposed to challenging ideas in order to stand still. One of the things that I believe is crucial to learning is the ability to listen to other ideas and accept challenge. That “pushback” is often an opportunity for both people to grow, as opposed to both standing still. A strong leadership trait is recognizing when the conversation will lead to growth, or to standing still. The time invested in a conversation that goes nowhere, is often better spent in focusing on developing the culture of an organization.

We always need to listen, but sometimes the best answer is to simply say, “thank you for sharing your thoughts”, and move on to the next conversation. We have to understand that learning can be messy, and have it ups and downs, it is still imperative to focus on how we can move forward.


  1. Sara Carter said:

    But what if you can’t move on.
    What if, for a legitimate reason, you are trapped in a situation.
    When you have to weigh options continually and re-evaluate.
    Ten years invested and two to go…
    At what point do you “give up” and still try to function in the situation until change is possible?

    September 28, 2015
  2. Kay said:

    Sara, sometimes the time just isn’t right. When you have tried and tried and nothing changes you then have the responsibility to rewire yourself. Are there other approaches, have you exhausted them all, is there a way to show rather than converse… seek all options. If you feel you have done that, then you must rewire yourself and do what you can. The negative of the situation for two years will do more damage than good. Dig deep, take responsibility for your own effectiveness and continue to grow!

    September 29, 2015

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