Thursday, August 27, 2009

Talking Too Much – Part II

Another important aspect here is the clarity of one’s thinking. This is the hidden skill behind effective communication and successful public speaking. Hence one’s thinking skills needs to be sharpened first before speaking and this is the distinguishing mark. Last night, I read different articles on visual thinking which help one clarify his thoughts to generally improve the thinking process. So I guess there is a possible chain to success in this regard:

visual thinking -> clear thoughts -> effective communication -> successful public speaking.

I think the challenge today is that the world is too complex and nuanced that one need thinking aids such as visual tools like mind mapping to clarify thoughts to survive and communicate effectively. I think this is a pattern that has existed in the ages especially as one sees the cave drawings of primitive man. But the complexity of modern life needs more advanced visual tools than just simple drawings. Hence the success of mind mapping and other visual tools like flow charting to make sense of the world.

The conclusion then is to use visual tools to improve one’s thinking in order to communicate effectively. Once achieved one can only move up to the next step which is public speaking. It’s a subtle distinction because it changes that way one usually thinks. Hopefully mental noise is reduced and a clear focus and clarity is achieved as reflected in speaking or communicating. Clarity of thought results also in a good temperament which helps being effective. For instance, people write that Obama has a first class mind with a first class temperament. Similarly, FDR has a second rate mind with a first class temperament. But both persons where significantly successful leaders; though too early to tell yet of Obama. So perhaps clarity of mind contributes to a good temperament wherein intelligence does not significantly matter.

In my case, I think I have too much intelligence with less clarity of mind. This gives me a poor temperament in handling challenges. Perhaps I can be said to possess a second rate mind with a second rate temperament. Hence, following FDR one only needs to improve one’s temperament to be successful. Maybe the key here is to improve ones temperament by improving the clarity of one’s thoughts. In modern times, the effective tool to achieve this is visual thinking aids like mind-mapping and to be able to communicate effectively. Thinking is more an ‘internal’ skill while communicating is more an ‘external’ skill wherein both should be working at a high level to achieve a first class temperament.

Looking at it another way, talking too much gives the impression that one does not think. One is a blabber mouth. The common phrase is that still waters run deep – or the quiet person is a reflective person. So I guess that makes sense. So I guess I should reflect more before I speak by trying to analyze the implications and trying to put the impact of my words against what I want to achieve. Perhaps to put more strategy with regards to what I want to say and the impact of these words on the intended receiver. That is another thought but quite different for informal conversation. But maybe I talk too much because I think too much. In this scenario, the remedy is clarity of thought to convert verbiage to sensible phrases. Again visual thinking tools is the key to achieving clarity of thought but applied in a more reflective and strategic manner.

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