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You Talk Too Much

January 16, 2013

Daily ReadYou Talk Too Much

We can learn a lot about communication and leadership from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who over seven years on the bench has only uttered four words. While many leaders are gregarious and outgoing and feel very comfortable talking to or speaking in front of others, a leader can talk too much. As a leader, it is important to keep these thoughts in mind:

  1. Just because you are a leader doesn’t mean you need to spend the day as the center of attention. Everything in the office doesn’t have to be about you, nor should it be.
  2. Creating silence is crucial to leadership. While leadership is about execution and getting things done, it also requires time to pause, reflect and absorb ideas. Silence also allows hot tempers to subside and allows time to heal and bond.
  3. Keeping quiet, allows others to speak, unchallenged and unthreatened creating an opportunity for fresh ideas and increased productivity and happiness.

The idea is not to sit quiet and still, taking it all in and saying nothing. Too much silence can be a sign of ineptitude or a failure of leadership. Find a nice balance where you encourage others to speak and spread the focus among everyone on your team – you will find you learn more by being silent. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

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