Is Your Mouth a Bottleneck?

[Image Credit: Joao Tzanno]

There’s a reason our brain is much larger than our mouth.

Before you ask someone for help when you’re stuck on a task, think about the problem and whether you could fix it – or come close – if the person you are about to ask for help was gone for a month.

There’s also a reason that we have two eyes and two ears and only one mouth. And that babies learn to see and hear before they can talk.

If you work at a place that values talking for the sake of talking over watching, listening, learning, and processing, then it’s time to look for something else or change (if you can) to a better manager.

I once had a manager like this at Microsoft. She told me I needed to talk more in meetings. I never understood why. The meetings were already filled with circular talk that went nowhere. Merely people regurgitating what others said or trying to fill the void to make the meeting seem necessary.

One of the best compliments I’ve ever received was from one of my co-workers at Microsoft who I have the utmost respect for.

He said to me “you may not say much in meetings, but when you do, it’s valuable.”

Thank you for getting me. If you’re reading this, hopefully you know who you are.

In closing, don’t let your mouth be the bottleneck of your life and the things and people you care about.

Quiet your thoughts – especially your mouth – so you can effectively watch,  listen, think, and process.

The world will suddenly offer up more opportunity than you could have imagined.