Tips For Speaking Less But Saying More
We live in a world where we are inundated with information at every turn. Whether you are in front of a computer, a television or even pumping gas these days, there is information being thrown at you.
This constant inundation of information has created short attention spans and the incessant need to speak frequently. While talking isn’t a bad thing, people can be put off when you aren’t actually saying anything.
Think about the relationships in your life. Would you like them to be better? Deeper? More meaningful? Ask yourself how much time you spend listening and how much time you spend talking. Figuring out how to be a better listener and a more meaningful talker could be the key. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Evaluate Your Thoughts
Many people tend to start talking before evaluating their thoughts. Take a moment to think about your words before they slip out of your mouth. Formulate the proper way to speak about what’s on your mind without rambling about other topics. Will what you plan to say offend someone? Contribute to the conversation? Cut someone off?
Taking a moment to evaluate your thoughts will lend you that little spot of time to say more than what you’d actually say if you just rambled it all out in fits and starts. It will also give you the moment to evaluate whether you are speaking to contribute or just speaking because you can’t be silent. Which brings us to our next point.
Enjoy the Silence
There is a reason that the saying “Silence is Golden” has been around for so many years. When you are silent, you can be more aware of all of the things around you. You can listen better, observe better, and be a better participant in various areas of life. As I’ve mentioned before, silence is a source of great strength.
Learn to enjoy the silence on a daily basis if you feel that you are out of practice. From the silence you experience while taking a walk to the silence you get from an end of the night bath session. Put down the phone and just be. Take time every day to linger in your own thoughts. Sit silently in a dark room without background noise.
When you learn to enjoy the silence that is your own thoughts, you’ll be more apt to speak less but say more when you open your mouth. Your words will be worth more because they aren’t as cluttered and your thoughts are clearer.
De-Stress More Often
There is a huge correlation between stress, anxiety, and talking. The talking that we do when we are anxious is typically more rambling and ongoing in order to let the agitation out of our body.
Consider adding a daily walk to your schedule. The small act of taking a twenty-minute walk every day (without taking out your phone!) will slow your mind down. When you use walking as a form of exercise as well as to slow down your thoughts, you are training yourself to speak less and say more. When our minds are calm and peaceful, we are more accurate with the words we choose to say aloud to others.
Listen with Every Ounce
When you are having a conversation with someone, you may not be hearing everything they have to say. During the time they’re speaking we’re often so preoccupied with our own thoughts that we’ve neglected to really take in what this person was saying to us. In other words, we are waiting to talk instead of hearing our conversation partner.
Pause all of your thoughts and focus only on listening to every ounce of what another person is saying. That way, when you reply, it is a valuable reply. Less words and more value is what you are going for, and listening is a main strategy for getting there.
One of the best ways to practice listening is to force yourself to restate what the other person said before you give your opinion or input. “I hear you when you say that you’ve been having trouble with your boss. That happened to me a few years ago… ” By restating the point, you are not only listening, but you are also letting the other person know that you’ve heard them.
We all want to be social – that’s part of our nature as humans. But being social involves speaking less and saying more so that others can add value to the conversation. It becomes about listening – not just hearing – and developing a back and forth that allows you to build better communication skills. In the end, you’ll have deeper conversations and find that more people desire to engage with you.
There are so many reasons for learning to speak less but say more. The biggest reason is that in the end, it makes you a better partner, friend, and person. When you practice these tips, you can actually change the narrative from being someone that you can chat with to being someone who others enjoy listening to.