“Never miss a good chance to shut up.”
~Will Rogers

The other day I walked away from a conversation with a refrain echoing in my head. It used to be more common for me, but I’ve been working on it – hard. Unfortunately yesterday I slipped into old behavior, and I was not letting myself sit easy with it. “Why did you say that?” I thought. “There’s no reason to have said that out loud.”

There’s a reason people say “A closed mouth catches no flies.” When we don’t say something, we don’t say something we later regret. When we’re careful about what we share with people, or how we respond, we lessen the risk that we’ll unintentionally upset someone else.

There are some of us that this is harder for than others. These are the clients that I work with to manage their “poker face” and their “poker mouth.” The ones who find themselves reacting to others rather than Thoughtfully responding, blurting out what’s on their mind rather than thinking it through first.

There are times for sharing what we’re thinking. Even the harshest feedback may need to be shared. But contemplating our desired outcome for the feedback, or information, or ideas we’re sharing before we share them may help us to share what is necessary but not more than what is necessary. To “say what we mean but don’t say it mean.” And to know when to shut up!

What was the last good chance to shut up that you missed?
Please leave a comment.

If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

For help in shutting up – or in speaking up – contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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