"Do not speak unless you can improve the silence"
Occasionally, I have been accused of speaking my mind too much. Subsequently, I have been actively working on observing more and speaking less. It is an interesting exercise for anyone that is "vocal."
If you are a "vocal leader," next time you are in a meeting, sit there. Say nothing and watch. You may have a similar experience to the ones I have.
First, you may find people looking at you awaiting your input. I am unsure if it is out of habit or if they really want to know what is on your mind. Second, you may find that the "obvious" point does not seem to be drawn upon. Sure that sounds arrogant, but it amazes me how often people talk without recognizing the real issues. Lastly, you may experience the group failing to meet an "actionable item" from their discussion.
This may not be true for everyone, but I believe it true for the "vocal leader."
2 DEGREE SUCCESS STEP:
The way I see it is like this: If you are an outspoken leader in the community, regardless of size, you are expected to know your stuff or at least have a consistently credible position from which you stand. Additionally, you are looked towards for assistance in the process of breaking down rhetoric to get to the facts.
Outspoken people do not always have the full idea, however, they do have the tenacity and focus to drive towards achieving it. They are not always the smartest person at the table, but they do create a catalyst for engaging others to speak.
Again, the next time you are in a meeting, say nothing (or as little as possible). If you want to see how powerful you are in your communications, say nothing and see what happens. You will find where you stand very quickly... or may find that the people around you are better than you give them credit for. (both are a "win!")
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