Creative Strategy
March 3, 2021
Talk Less

I have a sticky note on my desk to remind me.

Open Reference

Unknown to most people, I have a sticky note on my desk that says "Talk Less."

I collaborate a lot with others about ideas and design; I often find that getting ideas outside of myself helps me see them more clearly. I'm an external processor.

But as I find myself in more spaces of leading, I have to speak less and make more room for others.

While externalizing is helpful, sometimes, when you're leading people, they hang on your words more, and talking and exploring ideas out loud can lead to confusion.

In part, I'm merely finding the difference between collaboration and facilitation.

So I have a sticky note to remind me to say less.

Newness and discovery often happen with a collision of ideas. Speaking an idea out loud when your facilitating doesn't simply add to the mix of ideas; instead, it guides the conversation in a direction. It's good to know if you are guiding people or exploring with them.

There's a saying, "talk less, and you'll sound smarter." But if you only say ridiculous things, then talking less has the inverse effect.

The real principle is that when you say less, the things you do say have more impact.

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