Monday, April 16, 2012


The best advice I ever got from a mentor was "Before you open your mouth, ask yourself: does anyone in this room need to know that I know that?"

It's a difficult question to ask yourself. Listen to other folks and wonder if they're sharing from passion, from need or simply to show they thought of the same idea/concept/angle and don't want to be seen as left out.

I try to ask myself "Who really needs to know this?" "Why do I need to share this?" "What happens if I don't say anything on this topic?" Sometimes I even sit in meetings with my hand over my mouth.

It is ok to speak up for any of the reasons above - as long as it is by choice and not by habit of chiming in.

Keep in mind....Part listening skills, part personal brand, staying silent can be a powerful choice.


Tessa_Bee said...

This post resonates with me. I am often silent in group settings, which some people mistake for being passive. It's 70% a way to pick up the vibe of the group, the players, and the content, and 30% a feeling that everyone already knows what I know. I make no apologies for the 70% and where the 30% is concerned, I'm consistently making a conscious effort to contribute and be confident that I'm adding value.

Dennie Theodore said...

Silence is as active as speaking up in some situations! And, if folks were more tuned to body language, it would be easier to 'hear' if those staying silent were bored or actively listening.