Say what you have to say; then be quiet.

Today I take a quick break from discussing my dissertation to share a very good article about slowing down and listening. Here are five things  author Michael Grothaus learned when he went quiet (mostly) for a week:

  1. I APPEARED MORE CONFIDENT.
  2. PEOPLE LISTENED TO ME MORE INTENTLY.
  3. I BECAME A BETTER LISTENER.
  4. I DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING STUPID.
  5. I LEARNED HOW TO SPEAK LESS.

I have been a proponent of learning to be comfortable with silence since I started negotiating contracts in the 1980s. We tend to fill silence, especially when we’re uncomfortable, so I create this simple rule  to help myself. (It’s 1 of 6 that I created back then; I’ll share the other 5 in future posts.)

3. Say what you have to say; then be quiet. Be comfortable with silence.

Whenever I found myself talking too much (disclosing too much or not giving the other side a chance to respond), I referred to this.  Eventually, I started applying this idea to my personal life with great success.

So next time you find yourself filling the silence, just simply shut up.  You’ll be amazed how well it works…and how difficult it is to pull off.

LINK:
What Happened When I Spent A Week Keeping My Mouth (Mostly) Shut by Michael Grothaus in Fast Company Leadership

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