Expanding on the concepts outlined in Negotiating from the Middle, “Shut Up & Listen, then Speak Sensibly and Stay Composed” is a modern day rendition of a tried and true principle.  Let’s look at a few sources that speak directly to this concept.  

I have posted several statements conspicuously in my bathroom, so I am forced to reflect on them before each day begins. One of those statements is James 1:19. It reads “…Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…” Very familiar, yet extremely profound. As I reflected on it today for a few minutes (while my electric toothbrush spun away), it occurred to me that life would become much less complicated if we used this concept regularly in daily life – meetings, problems, issues and even Negotiating From The Middle 

A good friend of mine frequently quotes his dad by saying “I can only learn when I listen because when I talk I am only saying what I already know.” So simple. So true! 

Jim Wideman’s blog a few days ago ran through some thoughts on problem solving. Coincidentally, his first two points apply the lessons of this verse – 1) don’t be afraid to say I don’t know and 2) don’t be rushed. 

My dissection of James 1:19 (Amplified) goes like this:

a)      always listen first (and be ready to listen) – Shut Up & Listen

b)      after you have listened (not simply heard…there is a difference) then speak, if necessary – Speak Sensibly

c)      it should take you a long time to get offended and then become angry – Stay Composed 

Apply this elementary process to your life watch how much more productive you become.