One of the telling signs of a seasoned executive is not just how he or she communicates, but how much is communicated…
I was talking with an executive about an interaction with a young up-and-coming leader within her organization. The young leader was talking with others on the leadership team, and he proceeded to communicate without taking a step back to consider how his information would be received.
The wise executive said to me, “He has not learned that in order to be an effective leader, some things are best left unsaid.”
The art of knowing what to share with others, both professionally and personally, comes only with experience and intentional focus on learning to influence others in a positive way. A wise friend once told me that we, as leaders, do not have the right to dump our garbage on those we lead or love.
Choosing to speak the truth is only effective when delivered with regard for the receiver of the information. Sometimes, we gain influence and credibility through what we choose not to say.
We hear much about the importance of communication within relationships. Effective communication is more than a one-way dictation of thoughts, opinions, and feelings. It takes wisdom to know when to speak and when to simply listen. It is one of the most elusive, yet vital characteristics of a successful leader.
Choose to learn when to speak and when to listen, and you will make a difference!