Learning to speak less

January 29, 2024

I've come to realize often you're better off letting your work do the convincing.

This isn't to say we should never share opinions. Stating your opinions in public, facing the scrutiny that comes with that is a great way to learn and find a new perspective. You might otherwise never be intellectually challenged.

But in my experience, "If you need to justify your success you've failed" and the same holds true for your opinions. They are less convincing at the end of a long-winded explanation. People prefer actionable, easily understood examples.

Not unlike this post. A tweet would have sufficed, but here we are.

Some actionable things I'm putting into practice to improve my suggestion/adoption ratio:

  • Be as brief as possible. People don't have time to care about your motivations. Don't make them think too hard.
  • Always provide examples. Often disagreements arise from miscommunication. Examples help illustrate what you're thinking.
  • Don't be a blocker. Nits are inevitable, but unless it's a showstopper, make note and let it go. You can always come back to it later. People are motivated by progress.