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What’s Your Point? March 16, 2012

Posted by Tim Rodgers in Management & leadership, Organizational dynamics.
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American writer and humorist Fran Lebowitz said: “The opposite of talking isn’t listening. The opposite of talking is waiting.” In business we take turns talking and waiting, and occasionally listening. Talking, communicating verbally, is obviously necessary even in this era of email and instant messaging. But it’s not always clear why we’re talking in the first place. I often wonder about this, especially when I’m listening to someone extend a meeting. “What’s your point?”

I don’t want to over-analyze this, but I think it’s often worth taking a moment to consider the purpose of opening your mouth. Are you trying to add something constructive to the conversation? Correct someone who’s said something you disagree with? Show how much you know about this topic, thereby leaving a positive impression on the audience? Convince or persuade? Move the conversation in a different direction? Give a command? Teach? Or, just shoot the breeze?

Ultimately, shouldn’t our communications, not just our actions, add value?

On a related note, this made me laugh: http://holykaw.alltop.com/when-to-raise-your-hand-flowchart?tu2=1

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