One of my professional goals this year is to talk less, with the purpose of listening more and allowing more space for others' voices.
So far, not so good.
We had three days of pre-year meetings this week, and I talked up a storm. Partly the problem is that apparently I talk to learn -- mostly in the form of asking questions, but also figuring ideas out by figuring out how to phrase them.
It doesn't help that I tend to speak fairly well, so that colleagues often stop me afterward to thank me for asking a particular question or making a point. I appreciate those compliments, and I'm glad to know that I'm not a tedious talker.
But still, I don't want to be known as a talker at all, because even with the best of intentions, voluminous talkers take up more oxygen in the room, which isn't the kind of person that I want to be.
Part of my challenge, I realized, is that I was so wired and exhausted by the three days of meetings (and having more conversations in those three days than I'd had the entire summer), and when I'm wired I talk a lot. Listening deeply is something that requires me to be feeling very calm and settled, and that feeling was nowhere to be seen for me this week.
Still, we're just three days into the new year. I have loads of time to make progress on this goal. But I'm posting it here so that I have some accountability to keep working on this!