I spent this evening on a conference call for a service organization to which I belong. I have served on the Board in one fashion or another since 2013. I tend to speak very little on these calls. I do so because I feel like I’m still learning and I’m going to do more learning by listening than by speaking.
This has generally been my philosophy for as long as I can remember. When I was in High School and on the debate team when we would discuss each semester’s resolution, I spoke very little. It wasn’t that I did have any thoughts or didn’t think them important enough to share with the group, it was just that being the most verbose person in the room wasn’t my style.
If you’ve read my writing for any length of time or have heard my voice posts you know that I do like to talk. It is just that the situations are different. If I don’t talk on my blog, then there is essentially no blog. If I don’t talk in a group discussion it still carries on. When I weigh in on something I want it to count. I want to feel like I know what I’m talking about and have my opinion carry weight. I feel like the people who always speak limit the effectiveness of their speech. “Oh he wants to speak on this issue? No big deal, he speaks on every issue”. Better to be a man of few words that carry much weight than a man of many words that carry very little.
In this case though, I still feel like I know so little and that it is best for me to listen than speak. If I am asked for my thoughts I will happily share them but otherwise I feel it is going to be best for everyone if I sit and observe. Hopefully, I’ve got many years worth of service to this organization ahead of me and the time I spend listening and learning instead of speaking will pay off in the long-term.