Good ideas

There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”
Susan Cain, author of QUIET, the Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking

How many times have you been in a meeting with easy talkers who are expressing their thoughts, and it makes you think of a different perspective that has merit? But, you prefer to think before opening your mouth, and the discussion moves on while you’re still thinking. That’s happened to me plenty of times.

Easy talkers have no problem expressing their thoughts as they’re thinking them, which is good to get conversations going in meetings. But, in that same room (virtual or live) there are more ideas, maybe deeper reflections, different approaches, that don’t get heard when the easy talkers do most of the talking. What can you do? Don’t assume the best talkers have the best ideas.

Seek out what’s on the minds of those who don’t readily speak up. Ask what they’re thinking, what they’d like to contribute. If they’re not ready to contribute, let them know you’re open to hearing their thoughts later. (I realize time is of the essence in many situations, but letting someone know you’re interested in what they have to say can open a door that hasn’t been opened yet.)

Be one who seeks to hear from those who don’t automatically speak up, even if you’re one of them. You may be surprised at what you learn.

Have you sometimes felt “out-presenced” (a friend’s word, I love it!) by an easy talker? What have you done to get your points across?

If you are an easy talker, what do you do when you realize only you and maybe a couple of others are the only voices being heard?

This week, I encourage you – whether you’re more of a talker or a thinker first – to ask someone you don’t normally ask for their thoughts on a particular topic. Tell them you’d like to know their perspective. You know how it feels when someone asks for your perspective. Do that for someone else this week. It may trigger an idea neither of you have thought of yet.

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