Monday, February 1, 2010

Silence is good for business

More than a year ago I was at a friends’ house enjoying a small party. They were leaving the city back to their country of origin. Most of the guests were from a different country too, so we felt the communion and understood to a very good degree the feelings of our hosts.

At some point during the conversation I noticed that most of my input was practically non-existent. Nobody would respond to my questions and/or they continued talking to each other with a different topic as if my words were some kind of momentary noise. I felt embarrassed and obviously started to try to remember anything that might have offended anybody. I recalled nothing.

Last weekend, at a friend’s birthday party the conversation centered on newborns and mainly the pains of going through a difficult labour. This time quite the same happened, after I opened my mouth and said something that hugely overrode and diminished whatever any of the present women went through in there, in terms of time length and pains of such an event.

Then it struck me: that other time I explained that by sheer coincidence I went to 3 famous restaurants in 3 different cities within a week. It was just incredible that somebody brought up the names and places and I had just recently visited the 3 disparate places and ate in such restaurants within a 7 day trip.

This time, what I said was also kind of incredible. Nobody in that other occasion believed me, and neither did anybody now. Despite the fact that everything I said was true and I can prove it with my expense report, credit card statements and hospital records; it is in fact quite incredible, especially for people that do not live a similar lifestyle or have been anything close to what was described at the hospital.

My lesson?
DO NOT open your mouth that quickly. I remember most of my best financial, business and professional successes have happened after a long silence on my part. Strange: sometimes because I am trying to find the right words, sometimes because I do not know the answer and most of the times because my mind is blank but trying to articulate a sentence. It just worked to my advantage.

Sometimes the truth hurts or makes you look like an idiot. That truth is being tried to be conveyed with your own words! Do NOT do it. Keep silent when what you will say is very distant from the center and normality of what everybody is focusing on. Better to prepare with facts and figures and present them, instead of simply open your big mouth, no matter how small it is.

Enjoy the silence.

1 comment:

  1. Buena nota, así como la recomendación... ;)