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Show off your smarts

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by on
in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

You know you’re smart. But do others appreciate your intelligence?

Your communication style can influence whether your colleagues notice and heed your wisdom. Follow these guidelines to come across as a formidable thinker:

See all sides. Rather than rush to render judgments, collect information. Don’t hint at your conclusion or reveal biases. Keep exploring all aspects of an issue with curiosity. Stay engaged without nodding excessively or scoffing at what you hear; others won’t speak freely if you overreact to their every word.

Ask clarifying questions. Dig for information by posing what experts call “definitional questions”—inquiries that frame the topic or define terms. Examples include, “Are we focusing just on new customers?” or “Will we modify this procedure during seasonal surges in business?”

Say less, but make it count more. In many cultures, a wise person talks sparingly. Get in the habit of making every word count when discussing important business matters. No long stories, no repeating yourself, no silly jokes or tangential observations.


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