The Rule of St. Benedict: Chapter 7 pt. 15
The ninth and tenth steps of humility lay out a disposition to silence and calm, but whatever one's disposition, there will come a time to speak. Our Father Benedict describes in the eleventh step the character of humble speaking.
In the course of my life, I have often found myself in the midst of a monologue in which I feel compelled to express my thoughts and make convincing points. As I keep talking and talking, my voice becomes louder and my words begin to spin me around until I am left holding nothing more than a mess of self-centered pettiness. At the end of such monologues I often feel alienated from myself and from those who listen.
By way of contrast, I have been a part of several discernment committees over the years at St. Augustine's Episcopal Parish. When functioning as intended, discernment committees are able to hold weighty questions gently with humility and sincerity. Words spoken in the course of a meeting arise from silence at the prompting of the Spirit for the sake of the hearers. At the end of such meetings I often feel profoundly connected to myself and to the others in the group.
Humble speaking creates safe space for all who hear.