Silent but deadly


Meetings can be a mix of madness, manipulation and occasionally… magnificence.  It’s amazing what can happen when a bunch of smart people are dragged into a room with a common mission and a time limit.  Sometimes the result is a brilliant and creative action plan. Sometimes it is a complete and utter waste of time.  What determines this outcome?  And more importantly, how can you lead a meeting to magnificence?


Look around when you run your next meeting…

  • You will have a few people who achieve a perfect balance between listening and expressing their opinion.  Let’s call them “Rare.”
  • You will also have those who are so passionate about contributing a big idea they make it hard to get a word in edgewise. Let’s call them “Discussion Dominators.”
  • You will also have those who sit in the corner and keep their great ideas to themselves because someone else is dominating the discussion.  We’ll call them “Silent But Deadly” (no snickers from the boys in the back of the classroom please.) 

A typical meeting is a mix of great talkers and great listeners, and a great team needs both to succeed.  Just don’t forget to call on the SBDs (the great listeners) before the end of the meeting.  They are often the ones who can organize, summarize and commercialize the good ideas spewed forth by the DDs.  The SBD’s ability to relate the unrelated – and make something happen with it – is the business side of show business. 


All you DDs out there… remember the two ears / one mouth rule – try to listen twice as much as you talk.

All you SBDs… speak up!  We need your contribution.


Which one am I?  I’ll give you one guess… just as soon as I stop talking.


Explore posts in the same categories: Communication

2 Comments on “Silent but deadly”

  1. Joe Says:


    I am a recovering Discussion Dominator! I know I was guilty of it in the past and I try, try, try to not say as much. Smack me if I keep talking.

    My favorite quote from Winston Churchill (I think): “Better to be quiet and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”


  2. davidgoad Says:

    Good to hear from you Joe! I think everyone has a little DD and SBD in them. The trick is knowing WHEN to speak and when to listen. I’m still working on that myself 🙂

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