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:

  1. Don’t want others to talk.
  2. Believe they are “all that.” You can’t silence self-important prima donnas.
  3. Feel strongly. Passion drives verbosity.
  4. Love power and control. Research shows the powerful talk more than others.
  5. Know too much. Why listen when you already know? The gift of wisdom drops like pearls from their lips.
  6. Don’t care about others.
  7. 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?