You Talk Too Much!

You Talk Too Much!

The Idea:  According to a 2013 Scientific America article, “On average, people spend 60 percent of conversations talking about themselves—and this figure jumps to 80 percent when communicating via social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook.”  Very little is worse than dealing with someone who talks too much.  They are overwhelming, ineffective and they don’t even know it.

“Hey! You over there, I know about your kind .
You’re like the Independent Network News on Channel 9.
Everywhere that you go, no matter where you at.
I said you talk about this, and you talk about that.
You talk too much…

– RUN-DMC

Often, when we don’t even realize it, we talk way too much, and it can damage our business, our impact and our relationships.  Sometimes, the same people who discuss “effective listening” are the ones who fail to listen.

It’s easier to talk than it is to listen.  As David Foster Wallace once said, “There is no experience you have had that you are not the absolute center of.”  We are the most interesting and well-researched things that we know, and it’s easy to talk about ourselves. But very little is worse than dealing with someone who talks too much.

Do you ever talk too much?

The sad truth is that you probably do. But a HBR article titled “How To Know If You Talk Too Much,” by Mark Goulston, tells us that the first way to know if you are talking too much is to simply listen and watch how you affect others.

On a more personal note, do you feel like you are compensating for insecurity in a conversation, using verbose language or long-winded explanations to enforce an idea?  If you do, others notice.

So why do we talk too much?

When you talk to people, there is a chemical release of dopamine that encourages you to continue talking.  In short, talking feels good.  But to keep from overwhelming others, practice one simple idea.   Listen to what is both stated and unstated.  And learn to ask better questions.

Listening is the most persuasive act you can bring to any discussion.

Do you talk too much?

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