I had the unique and blessed fortune to converse with a very experienced Senior Property and Facilities Manager one evening. Sharing his experiences on learning, public speaking and presentation, he commented that he had observed (during his undergraduate days) that “It’s always the easiest to speak up and share your insights first. In fact, it’s often THE BEST”
I couldn’t agree more!
As I’ve always said, making the first move to share ideas or initiate conversations put us in a position of power because the first person to speak is often the one who gets to set the agenda throughout the session. Taking control of the conversation at the start also puts you in pole position to navigate the conversation or meeting in the direction that you want it to go. And since you’re the one holding the reins, why not navigate it into your area of expertise or, (even better!) common ground of interest that both you and the other party share?
Talking about common interests and similarities help to establish rapport and gives enacts a sense of familiarity among people – especially among people who’ve just met! It promotes trust as people generally believe that there’s a lower tendency for people whom are “like us” will hurt us.
And on topics of discussion in school or in the classroom, making the first move to share your ideas not only helps to depict you as a person who’s assured and confident of what you’re doing, it also allows you to set the parameters of the agenda which, once again allows you to navigate within familiar waters. So while others are trying hard to catch up with your expertly researched knowledge and experience, it’s going to take much more skill and effort by your competitors to draw you from your field of expertise into their territory of knowledge and experience.