You Talk Too Much

It is better to keep you mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and confirm it.

Ever worked with or for somebody who thinks out loud? Who says: “My point is . . . ” and then spends the next five minutes looking for it with his lips? If you don’t know somebody like that . . .

. . . it might be you.

Here’s What They’re Thinking

Here’s what everybody else wants you to know: they stop listening after the first sentence.

You’re wasting their time, and they resent it. They’re bored, they’re frustrated, and the more you talk the less credibility you have. Even if you did have a point, nobody can hear it for all the words. The more you talk, the less they hear.

You’re Not Communicating

You’re not communicating, you’re just talking. Frankly, you make others feel like you don’t care about them. The only thing you seem care about is the sound of your own voice. What you might think of as “connecting” to other people is doing exactly the opposite.

Your Actions

This could apply to everybody, especially if you think it doesn’t apply to you:

  • Think before you speak. Take a deep breath and decide what you’re going to say before you say it,
  • Keep it to one sentence, then…
  • Stop talking.

If you know somebody that fits this profile:

  • Give them a copy of this blog article. How is up to you. I suggest some straight talk, but that doesn’t mean you have to be mean.
  • Review the first three bullets above and figure out what you can use. It never hurts to get even a little bit better.

Other Reading:

The Lost Art of Brevity – Mike Myatt, N2Growth blog
Your Emails Are Too Long – Leo Babauta, Zen Habits blog
Quiet Leadership – Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work
– by David Rock

Discussion:

How have you dealt with blabbermouths in the past? What worked and what didn’t work?

What other techniques have you used yourself to communicate more clearly?

What affect did cutting your speech down to one sentence have?

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