You've heard the ole' cliche... He who speaks first, loses. Have you ever been in the middle of a negotiation, and suddenly, the room is filled with a deafening silence? Do you find yourself fidgeting uncomfortably during the loooong pause, waiting for someone to say something? Are you tempted to jump in to fill empty space, or do you silently contain yourself while others yak their lips and spill their beans?
Listening is an art, pausing is a discipline. Both are highly coveted pearls of wisdom when engaging in negotiation. The goal with any exchange is to seek to understand. Sometimes that means you gotta zippa your lippa.
When silence fills a room, practice your pause. Let others yak their lips while you quietly assess the situation. Then, ask questions for clarity. Start with... who, what, where, how, why and when. Open-ended questions are useful in gaining understanding and perspective.
When fools speak, wisdom listens. This wise Proverb works beautifully, personally and professionally. Try it on for size with your clients, significant other, friends, and even your kids. You may be surprised to learn; the quieter you become, the more you can hear.
You Have The Right To Remain Silent ;-)