It is the failure to know when to keep quiet that lands people in trouble! Here are the best reasons why you should practice the skill of silence.
1. You can learn so much from other people
Listen, observe and learn. How can you find out new information if you’re always the one talking? The greatest lessons come from when you listen. If you are talking or thinking of what to say, you are not listening to what is being said. Try to really process the knowledge being imparted. How well you can interpret that knowledge depends largely on your level of concentration and actual attention.
2. You hide ugly sides of yourself
Are you speaking up only to criticize someone’s failure with no constructive intent? If you are, better to keep quiet. Not to say that you should never criticize, but if your only purpose is to belittle something then there’s no point to it. Your negative intent becomes more evident as you speak, and that just reflects badly on you.
3. You can hurt other people in anger
Anger clouds the brain, scientific fact. Regardless of whether the anger is justified or not, you should wait for a clearer head before speaking. When you are able to assess the situation, and make coherent sense, then is the only time you should open your mouth. A lot of people actually lose their jobs because they spoke when they should have kept quiet.
4. When you speak, you can seem ignorant
Don’t state the obvious! If you can’t contribute useful information, don’t bother talking. In business meetings, it only shows that you are struggling to keep pace with the discussion. Also, reading your presentation slides verbatim. Instead of just reading the slides, give a summary and the meaning you want to convey rather than reading out the exact phrase.
5. You can miss a learning opportunity
Is someone criticizing you? Shooting back a snide remark or angry comment will only make you seem closed-minded and cranky. If someone is offering you constructive criticism, put your ego aside and evaluate the legitimacy of their viewpoint. Be honest with yourself! Listen and see if you can learn from their criticisms. Whether you agree or not, be open-minded. You may be reluctant to hear it, but it may be a valuable learning experience. If you can’t resist the immediate impulse to snap back, you may miss out on a valuable opportunity to improve.