|Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 6||Issue 267|
|Craig Impelman Speaking | Championship Coaches | Champion's Leadership Library Login|
THE VALUE OF QUIET
One of Coach Wooden’s favorite quotes was: It is very hard to keep quiet when you do not have anything to say. The value of quiet applies to being in a group setting as well as being alone.
Some research suggests that half of people are naturally extroverted and half are naturally introverted. I was asked recently if Coach Wooden was an introvert or an extrovert. I replied I don’t know. In retrospect, I think I came to that conclusion because Coach was able to balance the two.
I never heard Coach interrupt anybody when they were speaking or inject himself into a conversation just to hear himself talk. At the same time, he was an eloquent and enthusiastic participant in any discussion if he felt he had something to contribute. Coach was also quite willing to say I don’t know if it was appropriate. He never displayed a need to appear to knowledgeable. This went hand in hand with his habit of listening to learn, as opposed to listening to talk next.
In today’s fast moving society, there is a bit of an emphasis on being extroverted and collaborating. These are both good things, but creativity and good leadership are often a result of private reflection preceding the extroversion and collaboration. It’s good to have a balance.
Coach Wooden, like so many great leaders and thinkers, made time each day for private reflection. His daily habit of reading the Bible, making time for prayer and his five mile walk with no headphones were some of the ways he did this. His mentor, Abraham Lincoln, sat quietly in a darkened room in the White House for a period of time each day to collect his thoughts.
If you have a busy schedule you can try driving sometimes without the radio on to gain some quiet space.
My mother had a rule that if there was more than one person in the car, we were not allowed to have the radio on. She felt: Two intelligent people should be able to carry on a conversation. When I have tried this myself on family drives, I have always been pleasantly surprised with outcome. A cautionary note if you try this: Don’t be afraid of the silence and don’t give in too quickly if somebody asks you to turn the radio on.
I believe it is going to be an important challenge to teach our youth that they don’t always have to be looking at a screen or have a headset on. Example is a great teacher.
When was the last time you enjoyed quiet or enjoyed sharing quiet with someone else?
Yours in Coaching,
The Village Blacksmith
Under a spreading chestnut-tree
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