Consider This

Robert Stevenson’s Thoughts on the Pursuit of Excellence

Silence is a Powerful Statement

August 18, 2018

by Robert Stevenson

“A wise man once said nothing.” What a great quote we should all make note of. Silence is a powerful statement, a smart tactic, and many times, a wise choice. Meaningless silence is always better than speaking meaningless words. Maybe we should give some serious thought to the fact that we have a mouth that we can close and ears that we can’t close.

One of the biggest mistakes we make is speaking when we are angry. There are a lot of people who have ruined their lives, be it on a personal or business basis, by saying something foolish, thoughtless, mean, malicious, despicable, inappropriate, cruel, condescending, hurtful, vicious, painful, and certainly uncalled-for…because they were angry. Follow the advice from the old saying, “A moment of silence in a moment of anger, saves you hundreds of moments of regret.”

If you have to speak during a difficult situation:

  • Only speak what you know to be true
  • Speak with integrity
  • Never say anything about someone you wouldn’t say to them
  • Avoid at all costs speaking when angry
  • When in doubt, stay SILENT

Mark Twain made a wise statement about staying SILENT when dealing with idiots. He said, “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” The best thing to say to idiots is NOTHING…stay SILENT.

There have been some brilliant quotes about remaining silent:

  • “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubts.” President Abraham Lincoln
  • “Speak when you are angry - and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret.” L. J. Peter
  • “Silence is the ultimate weapon of power.” General Charles De Gualle
  • “Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.” Muhammad Ali
  • “Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.” Leonardo de Vinci
  • “Never mistake silence for ignorance.” Anon.
  • “Silence is the best way to answer a fool.” Anon.
  • “The ability to speak several languages is an asset, but the ability to keep your mouth shut in any language is priceless.” Anon.

Plato once said, “Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools speak because they have to say something.” The best thing to do when you are confused, angry, not sure, dealing with difficult people … or … if you want to frustrate, intimidate or irritate your opponent, is to stay SILENT. Have the maturity to know that sometimes SILENCE is more powerful than having the last word.

Remember, “A wise man once said nothing.”

"Your only true security in life
is your ability to perform."

About the Author

Robert Stevenson is an expert at building a high-performance business culture, improving efficiency, and accelerating growth. He is one of the most widely sought-after speakers in the world today, as well as a best-selling author. He has owned five companies, sold internationally in over 20 countries. Robert has spoken to over 2,500 companies throughout the world and his research in the area of corporate and entrepreneurial success is extensive. Over 2 million people have benefitted from his powerful, practical, and thought-provoking programs. He is a true master at blending facts, inspiration, conviction, and humor into all his programs.

Companies like FedEx, Prudential, Lockheed Martin, Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, American Express, and Berkshire Hathaway continue to rely on him for a fresh, unique perspective on businesses’ most crucial issues. To learn more about Robert and what he can do for your team visit his website at

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