We all have heard the timeless saying “Think before you speak.” And it is a good one to heed especially in our jobs. It however has become more difficult through the past years to take the time to think things through as the pace of work has increased almost beyond comprehension. Additionally, I believe along with this increased speed of business, the drama factor in some organizations has also increased. (And you know how I feel about drama.) Some of the comments that come out of people’s mouths amaze me. And these people are smart and bright but not only miss opportunities to add real value but start to diminish their credibility with non-intelligent responses.
Great leaders always are grounded and continuously build up their Emotional Intelligence so they can respond effectively in intense times. Whether an introvert or extrovert or a person who prefers tasks or people, great leaders stay in the moment and activate their brilliance and thinking capacity.
The reality is, every time you speak you will either add or take away from your credibility.
Smart leaders always think before they speak. They read the audience, they craft the message in such a way that it will be appropriately received and they bring in actual business analysis to the discussion. Like I always say, ask yourself “How does the topic at hand the impact the business.”
Many organizations these days understand the importance for getting ideas and feedback from all of their constituents. Executives and managers are much more adept at getting others’ ‘take on things’ and tapping into diverse perspectives. So you should always be prepared to speak. Unfortunately, I have been getting this comment from a good number of folks as of late, “He/She caught me off guard.” If you are a great leader you should never (all right almost never) be caught off guard. High performers always bring their “A-game.”
I just heard one of the best quotes of the year from a very fine CEO. Mike Seyle, CEO of the World-Class International Architectural Design firm Wimberly Allison Tong and Goo, was commenting on his expectations of his executive team and senior leadership. He is really great at getting the best thinking and ideas from his people. From these different perspectives he has a tremendous way of synthesizing them into a robust and actionable plan. But for this approach to work, his staff must bring thoughtful and logical perspectives to the table. He pushes his people to really think things through on many levels so they can put forth their best ideas. Or as Mike simply puts it
“Let me know what you think, but think before you let me know.”
Well said, well said.