Photo: Kristina Flour
Using our voice is core to understanding our power. It’s integral in anchoring where we deserve to be. It helps us advocate for our own needs and the needs of those we love. Using our voice, communicating our stories, sharing our experiences, is one of the great tools we have in propelling our ascent.
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But we’ve got to shut the [hell] up every once in a while. We have to stop being so concerned about proving what we know and what we’ve been through and why we’re right, and instead absorb. Instead, ask. Instead, look for what’s not being said.
When you’re so busy talking, and making points, and showing your opinions, you miss so much of the picture. You miss what’s in their eyes. You miss the chance to ask really powerful and pointed questions. You miss steering the ship with thoughtful inquiries. You can drive the direction of any meeting, of any conversation, of any connection, more with questions than with points.
If you can shut up, you’ll get to breath.
If you can shut up, you’ll get to listen.
If you shut up, you’ll get to feel what’s going on. Observe what’s happening.
If you shut up, you’ll feel your answers, the data, the knowing.
It’s hard to do all of these things when the broadcasting is endless.
And as someone who’s core qualities is that of a talker, I can tell you I’m in progress with this lesson. I will be my whole life. But I’ve found that facilitating other people’s stories, other people’s genius, other people’s thoughts – it allows me to learn quicker. It allows me to steer. It allows me to connect. It allows me to help them find their own answers. It allows me to allow them to feel seen.
The last is the most important to me, because isn’t that what we’re all searching for? To give someone the gift of feeling seen, you’ve got to learn to shut up first.
This article originally appeared on Maxie McCoy.
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