Excessive talking is often considered a character flaw. Labels such as “Chatty Cathy” or “Babbling Bob” are given to those of us who maintain one-sided conversations, go on and on about themselves and leave you feeling bored and wishing you could somehow escape their company.
Do you know anyone who never stops talking? People who won't shut up? Are you a Chatty Cathy or Babbling Bob?
The problem with excessive talking is that people will tend to avoid you for fear of becoming trapped in another long-winded, one-sided conversation. The more a talkative individual is avoided, the more they feel isolated and thus motivated to capture their next listener, and try to hold their attention. It’s a vicious circle, but there is a way out.
I will admit to analyzing communication style. It is engrained in me, an essential part of the work I do with relationship strategies to improve workplace and customer relations. My analysis: most people talk more than they listen. I included myself among them, until I made a conscious effort to listen to others. I remember sitting in my car that day prior to attending a Chamber of Commerce networking event, and promising myself I would seek only to listen to as many people as possible.
The results: better networking than ever before, and better conversion from prospect to sale. Why? Because people felt great meeting me. They got to talk about their favourite subject (themselves) and felt understood when I reiterated what they had just finished telling me.
You can make more friends in two days by listening to people than you can make in two months by talking to people. It’s a strategy that improves the quality of communication, sales and team morale.
We were given two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we talk. Try it, and notice the positive shift in your relationships. If too much listening and too little talking ever becomes a problem, let me know, and I will retire.
Best wishes for deep listening,
Ps: What do you do if you are not the chatterbox? How do you escape? How do you foster change in this behaviour of others? Read my blog post for more information.