Talking less, thinking long, emotional creatures and saying no

sent by Nick Grantham | 4th January 2022

"When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion."

Dale Carnegie

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The athlete standing in front of you is not an AI cyborg programmed and driven by algorithms, flow charts and logic. They will, from time to time, take an interest in your data visualisations, spreadsheets and wave loaded, undulating periodised training plan but only when you've bundled it up, wrapped it in and attached it to a bunch of emotion and feeling.

Source: Dale Carnegie

"The less you talk, the more you're listened to."

Abigail Van Buren

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Try saying less the next time you're coaching, resist the urge to fill the silence with coaching cues and white noise. Only speak if it improves on the silence and adds to the session.

Source: Abigail Van Buren

"In order to speak short upon any subject, think long."

H.H. Brackenridge

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In 2014 I spoke at a TEDx event. It's one of the shortest presentations I've ever delivered. I reckon it required the most preparation of any of my keynotes, seminars, workshops and conference presentations. TEDx events have pretty strict guidelines, and you cannot speak for longer than 18 minutes. There's no room for waffle, every slide has an impact. If you do a crappy job, you're being filmed, and your talk will sit on the TEDx site forever! I thought long to speak short on leaving a lasting legacy. Suppose I'm in a meeting, attending a keynote presentation or listening to one of my children negotiating a later bedtime. In that case, I can always tell if they've given some proper thought to their delivery! Rambling colleagues, keynotes that overrun, and kids that go all around the houses to get to the point are sure signs that they didn't think long before speaking short!

Source: H.H. Brackenridge

"A 'no' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'yes' merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble."

Mahatma Gandhi

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We often say 'yes' or want to hear 'yes' because it seems like an easy escape, but Chris Voss explains in his excellent book, Never Split The Difference, 'no' is the start of a conversation. When we push for a 'no', we set up an opportunity for clarity. 'No' can accomplish a lot. It provides an opportunity to understand the real issues behind a decision. It helps avoid poor choices. A strong 'no' can put the brakes on and slow the conversation down, allowing much needed time to evaluate the decisions and course of action.

Source: Mahatma Gandhi

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