The fact of the matter is, today, the normal business meeting seems to be a place where there is a constant race taking place to say something. It’s the short period of time to get all your points over before anyone else does, there are instances of people trampling over each other and rushing to cover as many points as they can before the next loudest voice hogs valuable vocal space. We’ve all been in meetings where there have been constant interruptions before one or another colleague can finish their piece.
So you see, losing your voice can be an absolute blessing in disguise, as you are forced to listen instead of speaking. Listening is an absolute art and all the greatest leaders are masters of it. Bernie Ferrari, Dean of the John Hopkins Business School has gone on the record in saying:
“The difference between great and mediocre leaders is the ability to listen.”
So, when did you last give your own “inner voice” an airing? Steve Jobs, of Apple, often talked of the power of your “inner voice.” He warned against being drowned out by the results of other peoples thinking, having the courage to not let the noise of others opinions drown out your own intuition.
Effective communication requires lots of focus and its been proven that better decisions are taken when you are truly listening. It’s a matter of perfecting the 80/20 rule and it has very little to do with what you have to say and EVERYTHING to do with what people say about you following various interactions. So, the sooner you lose your voice the better and grasp the opportunity to become the talking point of the next meeting for the right reasons – for being the listener in the room. Listening has been proven to:
- capture and maintain attention;
- be more engaging;
- demonstrate high degrees of psychological value; and
- create meaningful interactions as a result.
Therefore, a period of planned loss-of-your-voice could be well overdue. Do some active listening soon and let me know how it went. Without the pressure of always thinking about the next witty interjection, or spotting the next goal scoring opportunity, you’d be surprised how much more you will bring away from your meeting.