Own My Growth

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Keep Quiet In These Eight Situations

Keep Quiet

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.

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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. 
  5. With my clients, colleagues, or friends when they are giving me feedback.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.


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