Why we should listen to the quiet amongst us…

I’ve just read a great post by @susanjritchie: Should Women Be Any More Modest Than Men? I’d recommend you read it.

I was so struck that I felt I needed to reply.

The basic premise is best expressed in Sues own words, for me, in these two sections:

“we need to stop telling women that they need to be modest and instead encourage them to understand their strengths and be proud of them. And then, help them find ways to share their achievements”.


“Now no-one is denying that humility is a great thing in a leader – but you’ll never get to a position from which to lead anyone anywhere, unless you get comfortable with communicating your excellence”.

I agree with you Sue…

I agree with you Sue and I believe the reasons to be many fold and even wider than women; although I accept they show themselves far too often where women are involved.

The quietest often have the most to say…

In my experience, those that are confident (be them male or female) who fail to ‘hide their light under a bushel’, often have little or no reason to be so confident. They tend to lack the self awareness and knowledge needed to truly inspire, lead and manage their people in the long term.

Those that are quiet (again whether male or female) often have the capability to meet the needs of their people; which in turn should rightly afford them the right to a forum when speaking. Unfortunately it so rarely does in a room full of ‘loudies’.

Listen to me but I shall not listen to you…

Those that ARE confident to highlight their own ability often don’t listen or give time to those that they should listen to. This is the same approach that I observe in activists vs. reflectors and pragmatists vs. theorists. The reality, so often, is that the loudest and quickest to shout, often get the first and last words.

Leaders seek out the quietest voice…

The greatest leaders I have worked with have always sought the voice of the quietest in the room as they recognise that this is often where the wisdom is stored.

Bias is definitely there…

The problem is definitely biased against women but is also biased against sensitive and intuitive men who take the time to consider the options, repercussions and/or make decisions based upon an instinct that they may struggle to articulate to others in the moment.

My hope and ambition…

My hope and ambition is that we move beyond a mere recognition of the value of diversity, past the embracing of diversity and into seeking its counsel as a matter of course.

The benefit of diversity has been interpreted by many over the years and it’s benefit to the achievement of greater outcomes accepted by many. One such example is Edward de Bono’s six thinking hats; a concept which has been around long enough for the maturity of our leaders to catch up.

Let’s grab hold of the diversity of all and make sure the ‘quietest’ no matter whom they are are brought to the fore.

Thank you Sue for grabbing my attention.

Kind regards 


If you’ve enjoyed this and found it beneficial…

If you’ve enjoyed reading this and found this beneficial; I’d love to hear from you.

  • Twitter: @stefanpowell
  • E-mail: stefan@yourleadershipcounsel.co.uk 
  • Phone +44 (0) 7736942382

Who am I? Stefan Powell…

I am yourleadershipcounsel, a father, husband, part time rock star and passionately bonkers about helping leaders get the most from themselves and their people.

Why I do what I do…

“Stefan helped us focus on our goal neutrally and objectively, could we have done this on our own, probably! Would we have done it probably not!” – Russ Hobson – Agent – NFU Mutual 


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