How to be slower to speak

On being a more valuable contributor to conversations

How to be slower to speak (particularly, in meetings):

  • Bring a note book and write your ideas down instead of trying to find an opportunity to wedge into or disrupt a conversation. This way you can focus on listening to what the others are saying instead of having to try to hold your thought in your mind.
  • Don’t speak if your only intention is to restate or paraphrase a point someone just made. Let well made points stay with the person who made them instead of trying to associate yourself with it too.
  • Before responding to someone’s thought, pause and allow yourself to internally process what they’ve said.
  • Use sarcasm carefully (especially when jokingly interrupting when someone is sharing). 
  • Don’t use questions as a means to set yourself up to make a point. Don’t ask a question you intend to answer yourself.

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