Just Stop Talking

The Ringmaster has the greatest impact on the success of the circus.
-Juggling Elephants, page 30

While spending time with my 5 year old last week, I had to laugh at her "babbling." She would just talk and talk, sometimes making sense, sometimes saying things that only she could understand it's meaning or intent. At one point, I invited her to help me solve a minor problem (to build her critical thinking skills, of course). She would offer an answer and then continue talking about it, often to the point that I forgot her solution. At one point I simply said, "Just stop talking for a minute and let me think about it."

Sometimes I need to take my own advice. I am guilty of "talking too much." Silence between people is not a bad thing. It gives us time to reflect, ponder and evaluate. We certainly wouldn't want a ringmaster of a circus to babble on about an act. Introduce it, give me the facts, and then get out of the way.

In my travels I have come to really appreciate conversations with individuals for whom English is not their primary language. They use only the words needed to get their point across. There are often moments of silence while they think of the words they want to use, and that gives me time to think about what they are saying. I have learned much about true conversation from such people.

Today, why not try to choose your words more wisely. You might just find yourself a better conversationalist, and that people around you are more in tune with what you are really saying.