Practising to speak last is a concept that in theory seems easy to do, don’t speak until everyone else has spoken. However it isn’t always that easy, it does take time, self control and practise to perfect it.
There are several reasons why you should speak last in a meeting, firstly I believe that it gives others an opportunity to speak, be heard and contribute to the discussions. It is also a great way to hear what others have to say before having your say. Of course ask questions when others are speaking, but do not give away your opinions or decisions, keep them to yourself until everyone has spoken.
It is also a great way of ensuring you have reached the right conclusion for your own decision, you will no doubt be educated about different things that you didn’t think of or consider. By listening to others first you can gain a better understanding of where they are speaking from and what they are saying.
Never give away you opinions, if you agree with someone do no nod your head, if you disagree do not shake your head. It might seem hard, but it is something I am constantly working on. It also helps improve your own leadership and management skills as it will soon be known that you always speak last and have the final say in matters.
So give it a go and try to speak last, you might fail the first few times but you won’t know unless you practise and try.