There is a saying that God made us with two ears and one mouth for a reason. Knowing when to talk and when to listen is a skill. We often talk because the silence and pauses make us nervous and we talk to fill the void.
Some people talk incessantly and have opinions about everything that they need to share.
Others are too silent and speak when spoken to, playing it “safe.”There is a balance between the two. Here are some tips to know when to be silent and when to speak:
•Talk when you have something to offer that the other person wants to hear.
•Listen when someone has something to tell you and needs to talk.
•Talk when you need to express yourself and the time is right.
•Listen first in a new situation. Assess the environment and speak when you can contribute to the topic or have an example to share.
•Set up appointments to talk when you know others have a busy schedule.
•When calling, ask the person if this is a good time to talk. Don’t launch into an in-depth conversation when they were not expecting the call.
People tend to listen to others when what they has meaning for them. People tend to shut down hearing others when they talk too much, too fast, are repetitious and say things that are not of interest. By listening we learn what to say and how to say it. As we listen, we are picking up the body language of the person and that gives us cues as to how much and how little to speak.
Silence is golden and so is speech, when it’s balanced and meets the needs of both the giver and the receiver.