Ever notice how people in leadership positions seem to have diarrhea of the mouth? How they tend to corner you and talk and talk and talk? All you need is a quick answer, but you don’t dare ask for fear of being trapped in a long one-way dialogue?
Perhaps people who love to talk are most often promoted to leadership positions because of their dialogue skills. Or perhaps they feel the need to spew words to make them appear smarter than they actually are. I am sure that most of these over-talkers don’t even know what they are doing.
When you are in a conversation with a leader who does all the talking, how does it make you feel? Do you feel heard? Do you feel like you are important to this person? Or do you shut down and stop sharing information?
A great leader has to learn when to “shut up and listen”, it’s a hard skill to master. Of course there are times to speak, but what if you let the other person do most of the talking? What if you really tried to listen instead of talking?
By listening more than we talk, we open up a whole new world of possibilities. People will be more apt to tell us important information that they might normally hold back. They might teach us something that we do not already know. They might even leave the dialogue thinking that we are smarter than we actually are. People love to be heard and listening is a great source of respect for anyone in your life.
Next time you feel that you need to talk, pause for a moment and consider, “Would listening be more appropriate?” You might just be amazed what you discover.
Got a good story about a leader who talks too much? Please share it below in the comments section.