The “G” word for leaders – Gibberish

This is the seventh installment in the series I’m calling “Alphabet for Leaders.” Today it’s the letter “G.”

Have you listened to a leader saying the same thing over and over again? I have. I’ve been that person. If you’re a talkative leader, you’re producing gibberish. Don’t argue with me, just listen.


1. Rapid chatter like that of monkeys. (OUCH!)

2. Incomprehensible talk; nonsense

Why we talk too much?

Talking too much is a strategy to keep others from talking.

Talking too much indicates you’re self-absorbed or arrogant. After all, why should you have to listen to people who don’t know as much as you do? <sarcasm>

Talking too much may express fear. For example, doctors know that talkative patients are nervous.

You may talk too much because you are under the mistaken idea that talking equals power.

I talk too much when I feel strongly about a topic. Passion fuels my tongue. Furthermore, my mouth goes into overdrive if I’m trying to convince you to agree.

Two ways to kill gibberish.

Are you wondering if you’re a chattering monkey producing gibberish? If you have to wonder, you are. Those who don’t produce gibberish know they don’t, it’s obvious. It may surprise you to know that if you’re a chattering monkey those around you know. Here are two suggestions for killing gibberish.

The solution to gibberish is simple. Stop talking. It’s funny but there is a corollary between opened ears and closed mouths. Opening your ears frequently closes your mouth. Covey wisely says, “Seek first to understand then to be understood.”

In addition, kill gibberish by shifting your strategy. Realize that producing gibberish doesn’t convince or persuade. It irritates. Your most powerful persuasion tool isn’t your mouth it’s your ears. Making people feel understood through listening is foundational to persuasive influence.


Why do leaders talk too much? How can talkative leaders learn how to talk less?