We at The Morning Adam™ consider ourselves to be anatomists, after a fashion.
Human beings have two ears and one mouth for a reason. We’re no mathematicians, but we understand what a two-to-one ratio is, and means.
For over 20 years, we’ve been saying: The one who says little hears a lot.
But it goes deeper and can be viewed from three different perspectives.
First, let’s look at it from a ratio point of view.
Remember the following:
- The less you say, the more others have a chance to say;
- The more others say, the more knowledge you gain;
- Knowledge is power; therefore
- You gain power and become more powerful.
Second, your words will have more power as a pattern-interrupt from the norm, instead of BEING the norm.
When you’re not the one constantly speaking, the occasions when your voice is heard will really stand out.
Years ago, our Editor-In-Chief had a supervisor who was perpetually late for meetings, yet somehow seemed to dominate all of them.
His formula was simple.
Said supervisor would arrive at the meeting whenever he arrived, then sit quietly in the back, taking in everyone who was speaking and everything they were saying. When the timing was right, having absorbed and carefully pondered all that was said, he would speak.
Eyes would look up from handouts and phones.
Bodies would straighten in chairs and lean forward.
Usually through an anecdote or analogy, he would add a point of view that no one else had likely thought of. The rest of the discussion would be about what he just said.
Powerful stuff. And more so because he heard a lot; meaning the little he said carried a lot of weight.
Third, nobody wants to see their confessions on the news. But they need to confess.
Funny thing people tend to miss about their “sources”, the ones who seem to be “in the know” – the ones we’ll call, the gossips.
You may think you’re getting an exclusive on the gossip’s seemingly endless pipeline of confidential information. But you’re not.
Someone else is feeding off the pipeline, too – and YOUR confessions and secrets flow through those other pipelines to the other people!
Bank on it.
On the other hand:
When you gain a reputation for keeping secrets, obviously divulging a lot less than you know, and having insider information that you don’t account for in public, people take notice.
They discover their secrets are safe with you, and they share with you.
Knowledge is power.
Now zip it and open ’em.