Listen More, Talk Less/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on May 1, 2014


In a recent article, the authors dispensed advice for incoming school administrators. This advice is good for non-educators as well. Before you make commitments, promises, predictions, etc., first listen. You need not have answers for everything. You learn by listening. Talk less and listen more.

In a graduate course in education, I had a professor who urged us all, as future educators (and we are all educators in our own way) to refuse to give students the opportunity to give instant answers. We were advised to pose complex questions, at times, and to then tell the students to ponder the question for part of the period. Only then could we elicit responses. This is what life is all about; problem solving does not come about in a matter of seconds. It takes deliberation and thoughtful contemplation.

For those involved in divorce or commercial negotiations, the application is easy. Listen, think, and only then should you speak. Listen talk, talk less, is always good advice. So is this; mediate don’t litigate.