Keep Quiet In These Eight Situations
October 8, 2021
Recently, I wrote about what makes a good listener. Good listeners know when to participate in a conversation and when to remain silent. Some people enjoy the sound of their own voices and like to talk a lot. I am one of those people.
Because I know I tend to speak a lot, I make a conscious effort to keep quiet in situations that don’t require me to say anything. I can now list eight instances when it is best to remain silent.
- When you are in an argument with your spouse. It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong. It’s best to keep quiet and listen.
- When tempers are frayed. Speaking up will not help in any way. If anything, it will aggravate the situation further. Walk away and don’t say anything.
- If someone is venting out their frustration or their grievance. I often see this with my kids. They are not expecting me to solve their problem. They just want me to listen.
- In a team setting, especially where junior colleagues offer suggestions. I am sometimes guilty of butting in with my wisdom and intelligence. It is not necessary.
- With my clients, colleagues, or friends when they are giving me feedback.
- During meetings, when someone asks a question or gives a presentation. We habitually jump in with our opinions. It is more productive to let the other person finish speaking. Restrain yourself.
- In social settings with people who you don’t know. I usually adopt this approach where I introduce myself and let the other person do the talking. I lend a friendly ear, and I end up knowing a lot more about the other person.
- The last one is drawing from the pandemic WFH experience. Zoom calls with a large group can get unproductive if many people speak at the same time. I find it helpful to take the lead in being quiet.
It is a mistake to assume that loud is strong and quiet is weak. The opposite is more accurate. Quiet is stronger than loud.
A fool is known by his speech, and a wise man by silence.