Why am I talking? (WAIT)

September 19, 2011

Why Am I Talking?

At a Global 100 company, a new senior executive sat down with his division heads a week ago and told them to WAIT. His mentor, who ran and built this company, shared that same advice with him. At that time, the senior executive was confused. “Wait for what?” he wondered. WAIT, he learned, is an acronym that stands for “Why am I talking?”

Leaders are often asked and expected to talk, but unless they have something important to say, they’re generally better served by asking questions and listening. Questions empower and motivate others. They invite others to think and act and lead themselves.

The more you internalize WAIT (“Why am I talking?”) the more you will pause before you say something. You will speak and act more deliberately.

Model question-based leadership to your coworkers and encourage them to WAIT, too. Start by writing WAIT on your notepad before your next meeting.

Related Post: Listen Like An Artist

Listening: A Way Different Way To Listen

Reach your next peak

We help leaders expand the change they want to see in their teams, organizations, and the wider world.