“The smarter you get the less you speak" -Anonymous-
The quote above is a bit of wisdom I've learned over the years. Instead of speaking first, Intelligent people listen carefully; they understand that listening is at the core of intelligence.
Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why , was interviewed in a podcast and spoke of a story he heard about one of the most respected leaders of our generation, Nelson Mandella.
"He was actually the son of a tribal chief. And a journalist once asked him, 'How did you learn to be a great leader?'
He explained that when he was a kid, he remembered going to tribal meetings with his father. And he remembers two things, 1) They always sat in a circle, and 2) His father was always the last to speak."
Sinek goes on to say, "I think that it is a better way of framing being a better listener, which is practicing being the last one to speak."
Learning the skill of speaking last offers many benefits. First, you don't agree or disagree with what the other person is saying. Second, you don't give away what you may be thinking; rather you ask questions to discover more of their perspective. Third, understanding that intelligence starts with listening, you get to use what others are thinking to improve your thoughts or outlook. And finally, the person or group of people you are listening to feel respected and heard.
Talking yourself off a cliff is a real thing. Instead of impressing everyone with mouth garbage, follow the advice of Theodore Roosevelt, s peak softly and carry a big stick .
Speak carefully, speak less, speak meaningfully and speak last.