Learning to keep quiet could change your life.
Learning to keep your mouth shut could change your life. This advice comes from Time Magazine, and we refer you to one of the recent front pages of this British media that does not beat about the bush to get its message across: “zip it!
Zip it: we grant you, it’s a bit brutal, but who hasn’t already had the urge to give the order in the open space?
Ringing phones, animated conversations, computer keyboards… The open space is a place where noise pollution is a problem for concentration. Let’s face it, as unsympathetic as he may seem, we’ve all been on the verge of turning into Michael Scott, our favourite character from The Office.
Having said that, in the end, what would we do without all those “Talkaholics”, those colleagues who are addicted to their high rate of speech but who alone create enough atmosphere to make us forget the gloom of our Mondays?
In any case, the reality is that, in the end, we are all a bit like that – too talkative and not enough of a listener – every employee, whether extroverted or introverted. There is no difference.
So why don’t we shut up a little more?
That’s the idea behind a book by an American author, Daniel Lyons, which is featured in this issue of Time Magazine. The title of the book: “Shut the fuck up” is quite direct but the subtitle helps to contextualise the theme: “the power of keeping your mouth shut in an increasingly noisy world”.
Because it is by cultivating the rarity of our words that we will look much more intelligent. As french rapper Orelsan said, “learn to shut up, you’ll look mysterious”.
If keeping quiet is one thing, how can we ensure that we are really listened to?
Shut up and listen. Listening is at the heart of human relationships. How many times have you interacted with another person without really listening to the questions or answers, and thus opened the door to awkwardness?
Our course “Improve your listening skills”, co-published with Éditions Eyrolles, explores the concept of active listening to teach you how to listen.
3 tips for better listening
Active listening is the practice of focusing your attention fully on the other person, to ensure that you fully understand what they are saying. It is an excellent way to exchange. The basics, you might say. Basic, simple.
The good news is that by closing it, you have already completed the first step of active listening. Remember also to silence the little voice inside you that sometimes sounds when you are talking to others.
Rephrase what the other person said! That is, by expressing in your own words what you understood from the other person’s words, until your interlocutor validates your reformulation because it faithfully reflects his or her message. It is therefore a question of clarifying what they have said.
Finally, put your cognitive biases at bay. To be a good listener, avoid having the indicators sent back by your interlocutor polluted by your personal projections or beliefs. Trust your intuition, but be careful not to attribute to the other person feelings or ulterior motives that are actually yours.
In short, enough has been said! Let’s shut up now.