Quiet Leader: The Top Ten Reasons Listening is Better than Speaking

This post is the third in a series on Quiet Leadership. Check out the Quiet Leadership Manifesto and The Quiet Leader: The Imposter Syndrome. I will be adding more articles to this topic, so I recommend that you add your name to the email list, “Like” the article and get ready to become part of the Quiet Revolution. Shhh. It is happening right now.

The Top 10 Reasons Listening is Better than Speaking

10. U2. What else needs to be said? Just listen to their new album, Songs of Innocence. Last year, they asked us for our input and we recommended that they name the album The Songs of Introverts. They liked the idea but felt it may exclude the “other people” in the world. Instead, they decided to do a play on words Innocence. U2, you are our Tribe.

9. Two ears, one mouthNature declares to the world that there are two ears and one mouth for a reason. Follow me if you can, Mr. Talker: Listening is just better, two to one… The body has a mile of intestines and 100 Billion brain cells. We added up the numbers during that meeting that you forced us to be in last week. You don’t remember? We do. Every minute of it is etched in there. Thank you for that. Two ears = Two Times The Fun (or TTTF).

8. We think while we are listening. We listen and at the same time we go deep into the Cerebral Cortext and do some surfing. When we listen, we are linking up with some pretty cool stuff. That is why we smile when we listen. Keep talking and we will keep surfing. Your superFone needs a WIFI signal, right? You know that you cannot run the world without us. We are the WIFI. In case you did not know, WIFI means WIreless From the Introvert. It’s okay, you can thank us later.


7. Listening is how we care for other people. While we are listening, we find out interesting things about people’s lives and about their needs. When we listen, we are saying “You matter to me.” Well, we may not actually say it… but we are using our Auditory Superpowers to telepathically communicate our caring. And by the way, listening to someone is shown to be 100% better than talking to them (just see #9).

6. It takes us out of the center of attention. This is not to be confused with the Center of Inattention. If you need to know, the Center of Inattention is in the US Mid West and that is where all of the ADHD research is being done… but they have a hard time staying on task. Studies show that the Center of Inattention occurs at 3:18pm. Keep talking, we are entering the Zone.


5. Listening comes from the root word, List. Listen comes from the root word List, which means to write down, to organize and to formulate. Or if you are a ship, List means to turn sideways and tip over. So while we are listening to you, we are preparing for action. And if we turn sideways or tip over, just go with it.

4. When we listen we are scanning for other people’s superpowers. Listening allows us time to see other people’s strengths. We can just sense them. We know the guy who really makes the really good coffee, and the girl who knows how to get things done on the Intranet. We also know that Intranet is a stupid word. It is actually short for “In Transit.” Keep working on your “Intranet” website, most people who use the site are just wasting time… they are “In Transit.” Stop Rage Surfing Now! That is our slogan and the campaign is starting to pick up momentum.

3. Listening allows us time to scan for patterns. Patterns are everywhere and understanding patterns of behavior helps us all to be more successful. Plaid, checks, circly shapes, horizontals and verticals. We Introverts see it all. We use that crucial information to color code our wardrobe. There is a reason why they call it a WARdrobe. Yeah, we made that word up too.

2. When we listen, we breathe. We breathe when we walk, think, listen, plan, sleep, eat and go to the bathroom. Pretty much 100% of the day we are breathing. That is why we own this too. We are so good at listening-breathing that we are now Ninja Breathers.

1. Listening gives us time to think of something smart to say. We listen and scan for the big words that scream “I am smart” and other words that show that we are cool. Words like Intranet, Cost Savings and Locus of Control. We are better than the Word Police, just call us Word Dominators. We made Microsoft what it is today, that is why they named the program after us: “Microsoft, Word.”


Keep it real

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