The Last to Speak

“You will be told your whole life that you need to learn to listen. I would say that you need to learn to be the last to speak.” This is Simon Sinek’s advice to great leaders in his video, How to Be a Leader. Here is his simple counsel.

“The skill to hold your opinions to yourself until everyone has spoken does two things. One, it gives everybody else the feeling that they have been heard. It gives everyone else the ability to feel that they have contributed. And two, you get the benefit of hearing what everybody else has to think before you render your opinion. The skill is really to keep your opinions to yourself. If you agree with somebody, don’t not ‘yes’. If you disagree with somebody, don’t nod ‘no.’ Simply sit there. Take it all in. And the only thing you’re allowed to do is ask questions so that you can understand what they mean and why they have the opinion that they have. You must understand from where they are speaking, why they have the opinion they have, not just what they are saying… and at the end you will have your turn.”

Sinek’s words are captured in one of Stephen Covey’s Habit #5: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”  As Sinek says, one of the greatest impacts on the listener is the feeling that their idea or perspective is being listened to, that they are respected. It tells them that you are open and vulnerable to new ideas. You have taken the time to stand in their shoes and see the world as they see it. This simple act of emotional intelligence enables the conversation and builds the relationship… all because you chose to be the last to speak. May this practice be part of your beautiful life’s journey – always seek first to understand.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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