[Image by Bruno/Germany from Pixabay]

In case you’re unfamiliar, as I was, with the acronym W.A.I.T. here’s what it stands for:                           Why Am I Talking?

Hearing this acronym used recently, I felt it had significance to my profession–speaking. When researching this term I came across various related flowcharts.  The essence of the different flowcharts was that we should each ask ourselves multiple questions prior to speaking.  Some of these include:

  1. Is it my turn to speak?
  2. Is my contribution fact or opinion?
  3. Is my comment on-topic?
  4. Has this input already been given?
  5. How can I say this message succinctly?

These questions may occasionally cross our mind but when we actively pursue these questions, the outcome will be quite different and conversations as well as meetings will be improved.  (That sounds good to me.)

Perhaps the essence of the acronym W.A.I.T. is  for each of us to stop and put more thought into what we say to others.  If each of us took responsibility for this we could look forward to more meaningful dialogues, interactions, and exchanges.

One of the skills to apply when using W.A.I.T. is that of listening…actively.  When we listen actively we’re not anticipating what the other person will say or simply “waiting” for our turn to speak.  It’s far more involved than that and listening effectively is usually hard work but well worth the effort expended.

So the next time you want to say what’s on your mind, remember the inherent value of W.A.I.T. and then implement it.