Talk Less, Say More
Listening is a powerful relationship-building tool.
Have you ever sat down with someone for coffee and discovered that they dominated the entire conversation?
Well, I have. I’ve also been the person to dominate the entire conversation too.
What I’ve learned throughout the years is that: it’s not effective communication. I’ll tell you why.
Silence is a precious gift. It’s the space between our words where we can find ourselves.
In my recent article, It’s Not Me, It’s You, I talk about one-sided relationships. Oftentimes, unbalanced conversations are simply just from a lack of social awareness. However, it can also indicate that the other person is self-focused.
When you don’t let another person get a single thought out during a conversation, you are basically saying to them: ME. ME. ME.
Want to communicate more effectively? Talk less.
The law of supply and demand holds true in this scenario. Your words will actually hold more weight.
Ask yourself this question:
How much talking do you really do on an average day?
I challenge you to spend the next week talking less and saying more. Focus on what the other person is saying, rather than spewing the next brilliant thing that comes to your mind.
The Benefits of Listening
Conversations need to be balanced. Talk to me, not at me.
Most people go through life feeling misunderstood and by developing better listening skills, you are validating the ideas of the other person. You give them power. Having social skills isn’t necessarily to shout random words at people to fill in the silence. It’s to actually listen. To understand them.
Next time you want to interrupt someone, stop. Listen to their words. Silence isn’t the end of the world. Some people don’t see the value and the wisdom that comes from being quiet, however, once you start paying attention to your ways of thinking you’ll find that you’ll create stronger bonds with others as a result. I talk more about the importance of solitude here in a previous article.
“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson had some great insight when he wrote this statement and most of us can agree on it.
Make sure to choose your actions wisely, as others will notice what you do rather than what you say. Oftentimes, there is a disconnection between what is said and what is done, which is why what you do is more important.
Next time you have a conversation with someone, invite them to share their perspectives with you. Let them talk. The more you start listening, the more you’ll find others gravitating towards you.
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