Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Listen First, Speak Second

It's not easy for a passionate individual who wants to influence his/her community to take a back-seat role to a conversation. With all that energy and dedication comes the want for everyone to hear what has to be said. But, the power of effective leadership often lies in the power to be silent and speak only when something profound or necessary for moving along a conversation arises.

Look what these influential people have to say about listening first and speaking second:
  • "Silence is a source of great strength." Lao Tzu
  • "I only wish I could find an institute that teaches people how to listen. Business people need to listen at least as much as they need to talk. Too many people fail to realize that real communication goes in both directions." Lee Iacocca
  • "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." Stephen Covey
Difficult as it is for me to keep my mouth shut when I really want to say something, I take deep breaths, write lots of notes, and inject ideas (I hope profound) into a conversation when the timing is right.

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