Help for Blabbermouths
Raise your hand if you have a boss who talks too much. Blabbermouth bosses exasperate everyone.
Raise your hand if you’re a boss. I bet you talk too much, too. As a general rule…
Leaders talk too much and listen too little.
Blabbermouth bosses talk too much because they:
- Don’t want others to talk.
- Believe they are “all that.” You can’t silence self-important prima donnas.
- Feel strongly. Passion drives verbosity.
- Love power and control. Research shows the powerful talk more than others.
- Know too much. Why listen when you already know? The gift of wisdom drops like pearls from their lips.
- Don’t care about others.
- Feel fear. Doctors know talkative patients are nervous, for example.
Bonus: Weak leaders talk too much when trying to convince skeptics.
Tips for Blabbermouths:
Forget about active listening. It’s beyond you. Just shut up.
Master silent listening before
attempting active listening.
Silence is space for the words of others. Closed mouths are the first step toward opened ears.
Pauses are thought-time, not permission for you to talk. Shhhh!
Shift from talking-to-persuade to listening-to-persuade. Earn the right to be heard by hearing others.
Ears, not mouths, make people feel understood.
Align your talk with their talk. If they ask a question, ask them one. When someone shares a personal moment, share one of your own.
Reach beyond informing.
Use talking to connect.
Shorten responses. Limit talking to 90 seconds segments, at most. Additionally, if they speak briefly, speak briefly yourself.
Why do leaders talk too much?
What practices help leaders listen more?
It’s almost never wrong to listen more. Except, when you need to speak up. Listen more, so when you need to find your voice, people are eager to here.
Thanks for bringing an important “except” to this post. Have a great week. By the way, your post, Orchestra Without a Conductor, totally rocks!
Thanks so much, Dan. That means a lot.
Good post, Dan.
Listening well is an acquired skill. It is not something that people are taught. Leaders must be intentional about cultivating this in themselves as well as those they lead.
Leaders who cannot learn to listen end up not really communicating with those they lead. And magically, people stop listening to them as well.
This is a place where close friends or a mastermind group can be helpful. We all need people who will speak into our lives and tell us the unpleasant truths… like we talk too much or when we are being inattentive to the needs of others. These of course must be people that we actually listen to.
I find for me I don’t mind anyone who talks too much as long as they have something interesting or inspiring to say .
Latest dude I discovered with MASSIVE amount to say. Bob Chapman. CEO of Barry-wehmiller
Hope anyone reading this googles his TEDtalk and watches FIRST, then comments on if they get what he is talking about, or not. Just more authentic if ones opinion has a frame of reference. Just my opinion of opinions.
It is AWESOME, but you will never know unless you open your mind and watch his video.
People centric leadership ROCKS!!
Thanks to all Veterans who sacrificed to keep the American experiment going.
Chapman’s philosophy is create a culture where every person leaves work fulfilled. Who does not see the value in that? That is Leadership and they are doing it!!
I Concur with Bob Chapman hope it inspires you.
Your picture of the weak blabbermouth leader is perfect. “You can’t silence self-absorbed asses.” Nail on the head! I think sometimes people are afraid that if they actually listen they’ll accidentally learn something.
Listening is learning. And learning demands improvement.
Leaders who talk too much are motivated by Affiliation, which translate into not being a leader at all. To understand a very talkative “leader” pay close attention to what he/she does versus what he/she says.
“To understand a very talkative “leader” pay close attention to what he/she does versus what he/she says.”
I love this advice, Jim!
Leaders who listen show you that they have an open mind. I’m always suspicious of the ones who monopolize a conversation. It shows me that their minds are already made up, and you’re just wasting your breath..
Really like this post – someone needed to say something! (Let’s hope they listened.)
I think Plato’s wisdom applies here: “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”
It takes a leader who is very secure in themselves NOT to be the one who dominates the conversation/meeting. It seems to me that a leader should stay silent as much as possible, so that when the time comes to speak, the words are that much more meaningful for the followers.
Zeno of Citium – A Greek Philosopher from about 300BC is quoted as saying “The reason why we have two ears and only one mouth is that we may listen the more and talk the less.”
THIS was great!! “Forget about active listening. It’s beyond you. Just shut up.”
My dad taught me:
Two ears, one mouth — majoirty rules!
Words to live by!!
I love this! I always look forward to your posts.