The Art of Sitting on Your Hands

One of the most dynamic entrepreneurs and leaders I have ever known knew a secret – listen more than you speak.


I mean at meetings – all meetings.


Powerful outcomes require buy-in. Powerful leaders listen. They create opportunities for strategic conversation.


This presents an ongoing challenge for any leader – particularly smart ones. The majority of leaders that I work with were hired for their expertise and they know most of the answers – but they are smart enough to know that they can’t bring about necessary changes without the buy-in of the individuals that they work with – this requires getting out of the way – divorcing ourselves of preconceived notions about how to get from A to B – and gathering input.


The smart leader knows that having all of the answers won’t bring the heart and soul to your organization.

  • Know when to speak.

  • Know when to listen.

  • Know when to influence.

  • Know how to create opportunities for others to have influence.


The message for today is for any leader – at work, at home, in the corporation and in the boardroom. 


If you are spending more time listening than speaking ~ if you are asking the right questions and allowing the collective genius in your organization to emerge ~ then you are the wisest of leaders. Continue on that path!


If you find that you are doing a lot of talking, try sitting on your hands for a while.



© Kathy Sturgis, Ph.D. Kathy is founder of Refreshment Zone and is an organizational and personal development specialist with a doctorate in communication. Contact for more information on motivational programs.

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