A great question to ask yourself before speaking
“Before speaking, I take a breath and ask myself one question, “Is it worth it?” I learned that 50 percent of what I was going to say was correct – maybe – but saying it wasn’t worth it?” This is a quotation from a page 151 of a great book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – How Successful People Become Even More Successful, Profile Books 2008, by executive coach Marshall Goldsmith.
The quote is from one of Goldsmith’s coaching clients. It reminds me of the principles I stress with my speech communication and sales presentation clients. Namely, ‘less is more’. In addition, it reinforces a comment of Australia’s Foreign Minister Bob Carr, which he relayed on my Choice Voice- Lessons from great speaking voices CD. Namely, “When in doubt, strike it out.”
On the same page Goldsmith relates another powerful message. “The implications of “Is it worth it? are profound – and go beyond listening. In effect, you are taking the age-old question of self-interest, “What’s in it for me?” one step further to ask, “What’s in it for him?”
The ‘how to apply’ for this post: a. Consider reading Goldsmith’s book. b. In the next seven days before you speak, ask yourself the “Is worth it? question. If it isn’t worth speaking, honour silence. Then reflect on the impact of honouring silence.