Which of these individuals describes you: someone who talks more and does less, someone who talks less and does more, someone who talks more and does more or someone who talks less and does less? Have there ever been moments in your life when you just talked and talked and talked because you felt bored, defensive or uncomfortable with what was being said or not being said or with the people surrounding you? Have there been times when words came blurting out of your mouth in a torrent rather than in a measured and thoughtful way? Have words flown out of your mouth that you wish you could take back or have you bit your tongue and avoided saying what needed to be said when you were given the opportunity to say it? Are there people or situations in your personal or professional lives that have moved too slowly and, in your effort to move them along at a quicker pace, you have either alienated the people involved and/or made crucial mistakes that negatively impacted the situation and/or your reputation? It is time to learn a valuable lesson that you can apply in your life, career and business. The lesson is that silence is golden and patience is platinum.
Hopefully, as you are reading this post, you are sitting quietly and focused only on reading and processing the words on the screen in front of you. How can this lesson contribute to your health, happiness and success in your life, career and business? How much healthier and happier would your relationships with family and friends be if you replaced the constant noise of idle chatter with the pure pleasure of silence and its gifts of listening, understanding and responding with pertinent questions, thoughtful advice or heartfelt responses? How much more successful would you feel in your life without the constant stress of having to say something when all you really want to do is be quiet and just listen?What would it be like for you to be able to focus on listening to your body and how it is feeling and to your inner voice and what it is saying to you rather than to the constant hum of noise that surrounds you?
Today, when you are having a conversation by text, e-mail, on the phone or in person, just be quiet and listen. If it is a text or e-mail, read the words carefully, think about what is and is not being said and craft a thoughtful response even if it is only a few words. If you are having a conversation on the telephone, either a personal call or a business conference call, focus on what the person is saying and how they are saying it. Avoid the temptation to interrupt or to be doing something else at the same time like checking your e-mail or reading something on your computer. There is nothing more annoying or disrespectful than the sound of clicking keys punctuating a personal telephone conversation or a business conference call. Adopt the pace and volume of the person at the other end of the conversation especially if they speak more slowly and softly than you do. Allow them the time to express their thoughts clearly and confidently and patiently listen to every word and then, when they are finished, respond appropriately. Wait your turn if you are participating in a business conference call. Be aware that everyone should have equal time to share ideas, opinions and information . Be patient and give them the time that they need and you will be seen as a confident and considerate individual. Finally, when you are having a meeting with one or more individuals, remember that it is not about you. Focus on the details – the words, tone, and body language of the person speaking and on the bigger picture – who are the influencers and decision makers, how are others responding to what is being said and what type of energy and atmosphere is pervading the meeting? If there is silence, is it constructive or destructive? If there is patience, is it forced or sincere?
Thank you for your silence and patience in reading this post. If you remember that silence is golden and patience is platinum, your personal and professional lives will be more positive, prosperous, productive and progressive.