Knowing When to Shut Up

Although the advantages of speaking up help you avoid passive aggressive responses, at times it’s better to shut up, particularly when you’re in a highly emotional state that could affect your ability to think clearly. Moreover, in these emotional states, once you open your mouth, you’re inclined to let out more out than you intend.

There are many instances when keeping to yourself is the best course. When we are angry, upset, agitated, or vexed, we blurt out anything and everything that comes to our mind. And later, you tend to regret it.

Wearing people down and trying to win the battle of persuasion through a verbal mortar round is not an effective strategy to gaining buy-in. Support your position. Provide facts, figures and point to examples of success. Artfully articulate the why behind what you are doing as well as the potential payoff when success is realized.

Check in frequently with questions that close the loop. It isn’t’ enough to paint the vision and then leave the gallery. Come back often to check-in on what is working and what needs refinement. Ask the questions that will close the loop on anything that might have been vague or open to interpretation. Step back and listen.

Summing-up: Keeping your mouth shut when you’re agitated is one of the most valuable skills to learn, and of course, one of the most difficult.

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