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Always be the last to speak when among strangers

Always be the last person to speak when you are among strangers

No one wants to be the stupidest person in the room, but you should never be the smartest either.

Always listen to what others have to say before you contribute yourself. That gives you the chance to hear all their ideas, toughts and opinions before giving them inside to your own knowledge.

If you control your urge to share and wait for the suitable moment, you can bring in the right things to the right moment of the conversation. This keeps tension high when you are taking the floor and people will consider you more serious and competent.

And also, it may prevent you from saying something mad stupid at the beginning of a meeting.

But why not being the smartest person in the room either?

Jordan Peterson once said: “You don’t want to be the smartest guy either, because what that probably means is that you are in the wrong room.”
You need something to climb up for or your further development comes to a standstill, which is the last thing you want to happen.

Experienced people know this for a long time and from a countless number of Workshops, Pitches, Meetings, Trainings and Talks.

There is always one person who takes the lead and is eager to convey what they have to say. Making their opinion clear, assuming that everyone directly is going to agree with them and nobody has nothing to say against it.
This comes with a certain danger, as many of the other participants may easly be impressed and automatically agree with what has just been said due to the rousing persuasiveness of this meant person.

Please do never mistake this harshness for charisma, competence or respect, because these are rarely the reasons for this behavior.

People want to represent themselves as leaders and experts, some even more than others. But the own contemplation does not always correspond to the truth.
Most of the time, those kind of people are directly getting disappointed, insulted or even mad when disagreed with.

They even become angrier when spoken to in clear and calm manner – as the quiet, focussed counterpart.

But how to help yourself?

There are some studies and frameworks on how to estimate people’s behavior like the DISC or the Structogram framework. They help you getting a better understanding of yourself and of the people’s behavior in certain situations. More to this in my other blogpost.

Nevertheless, no matter how exhausting it may be, let the others do their act first and then take the stage yourself.

Or at least, when discussions occur and it gets chaotic, choose the right moment to take the word. And even more important, get right words ready.

The less you talk, the more closely people will listen. The more purposefully you express yourself, the more seriously they will take you.

This allows you to moderate conversations and to contribute important information without losing the structure and geting into a chaos of discussion, disappointment and aimlessness.

Thats why this lesson is so important – listen first, then speak.

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