I remember being in a coach’s office as a teenager and reading a quote that was hung on the wall. The quote was by Abraham Lincoln and he said, “It’s better for a man to keep his mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt!”
Proverbs 17:27-28 NLT
27 A truly wise person uses few words; …
28 Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.
I have seen this truth play out all my life. If you want to have people listen to your wisdom, strive to be profound versus prolonged. Say what you want to convey in a few impactful words that make your point. Do not belabor the conversation with endless trails of meaningless chatter. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Get to the point quickly.
If you will begin to practice this philosophy, you will find that those you are speaking with will appreciate your conversation much more and they will be able to retain the information you gave them, which will enable them to put action to your words. Results are the ultimate hope and goal of our conversations, right?
James 1:22 – “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
Therefore our communication should be purposed to lead people to effective actions that build the Kingdom of God, right?
A teacher of mine had a favorite saying, “ God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason. You should listen twice as much as you speak!”
In our world today we have an enormous amount of speaking, but very little listening and even less appropriate action.
Here is a principle you should consider when thinking about communication, when the oil industry is producing an abundance of oil, what happens to the price of gasoline for the consumer? It depreciates or goes down. What happens when the availability of crude oil is scarce? The price of gasoline is extremely high. So, it is with words. If you are consistently filling the air with an abundance of words, the value given to your words has been cheapened. However, if you will heed my words in this short narrative, your words will ring forth like gold. Remember to be profound, not prolonged.
Try it today. Think before you speak. Try to be aware of your words instead of just spilling out anything that crosses your mind. See how people begin to respond to you. I think you will find this a great exercise in maturity. I will guarantee people will respond differently to you.
Leadership is influence! Communication is the basis of life.