Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 351

It is always better to have nothing to say than to say something that means nothing. #QuoteADay #Day351 #edchat #satchat #NYedchat #NGSSchat

One of the leadership qualities I’m working on quite a bit this year is to become even better at saying nothing when I don’t have anything that needs to be said.

Based on my experience as a leader and learner up to this point, it is always better to simply say nothing, then to say something that means nothing; the world doesn’t need anyone to prove they exist simply by opening their mouths.

We’ve all been part of meetings that were held simply so everyone could let everyone else know they still exist.  These meetings often don’t have an agenda, or have an agenda that is so rickety, that the group is guaranteed to fall off it at a moment’s notice.  In these meetings, we often don’t have anything to say, yet there still tends to be a ton of speaking going on.

And that is a problem.


Because we always leave those meetings wondering what the point was, and frustrated that our time and energy couldn’t go to other endeavors.

If we are to become the leaders we truly want to become, then we need to make sure that we acknowledge the fact that we don’t always have great things to add to the conversation.  In fact, often we’re better off sitting back and listening, if for no other reason than to support the fact that the conversation can end. 
This relaxing of our instinct to add our “two cents” accomplishes two additional goals.  First, it adds power to what we say when we do speak.  If we talk less and listen more, those we serve are more likely to pay close attention to the words we use and when we use them.  Second, it prevents us from prolonging a discussion that needs to end and encourages others to mind their air time as well.

Silence doesn’t have to be uncomfortable.  In fact, it is often more comfortable than when too many people say too many things that mean too little.

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