- Thoughts for inspired living

July 30, 2008

The Last Word

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:02 am

Got a visit from The Grasshopper the other day. He said,

“If you need to be heard and need the last word, your communication skills will suffer.”

How many times have we attempted to get in the last word? For what purpose? It rarely aids the communication. My experience is that when we do this, whatever we’re discussing becomes exclusively about us and dismisses the other person in the conversation. It’s all about ego and not about communication.

You can speak last without having the last word.

Unless you’re speaking to a counselor, a conversation is not about you; it’s about us. When you are solely intent on saying what you have to say, it’s usually forced at the wrong moment in the exchange. Our compulsory timetable deafens the other person because we are regurgitating in their ears. One telltale sign of doing this will be a soliloquy filled with pap and platitudes with no real substance other than a one-way defensive agenda. In the law they call it a “justification defense.” That means you did what you were accused of but claim you were justified in doing it. Ask any attorney you know. It rarely works.

When we justify having the last word, we make the conversation chasm wider and can’t get to the other side.

We’ve all done it. I’m not sure that we’ve ever evaluated that it almost never works.

Take stock today and see how often you need to have the last word. Then notice that it gets in the way of communication because when you have the last word, you say nothing.

All the best,


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