7 Ways Quiet Leaders Get the Most From Talkers

Quiet leaders struggle with talkers. They wonder if we’ll ever shut up.

Power and position invite leaders to talk too much.

rooster with open beak

10 dangers of talkative leaders:

  1. Forgetfulness. By the time you stop talking, they forgot what they were going to say.
  2. Dis-empowerment. You make others feel unimportant.
  3. Confirmation. The more you talk, the more you convince themselves yourself you’re right.
  4. Disengagement. After a while, everyone just gives up.
  5. Fear. They’re afraid to make a short comment because you’ll drone on and on in response.
  6. Confusion. You bring up several points before asking for feedback. The silence you hear is caused by the confusion you create.
  7. Pressuring. Talking feels like pressure to quiet people.
  8. Arrogance. The longer you talk the more self-important you feel.
  9. Rudeness. You interrupt.
  10. Rabbit chasing. You take conversations/meetings in distracting directions.

5 ways quiet leaders deal with talkers in meetings:

  1. Interrupt them politely. Good manners become poor leadership when talkers dominate meetings.
  2. Address questions others before the talker begins talking. “Mary, what’s your take on this idea?”
  3. Stand with your back to them.
  4. Give everyone in the room one minute to offer their best contribution to the conversation.
  5. Have a tough conversation with them before the meeting.

7 Ways quiet leaders get the most from talkative team mates:

  1. Respect their thought processes. Talkers think and talk at the same time.
  2. Ask for conclusions when they start giving explanations.
  3. Say, “What do you want?”
  4. Ask, “What’s the next step?”
  5. Establish a natural ending by asking them to walk to your next meeting with you.
  6. If they ask, “Got a minute?” Tell them exactly how long you have and stick to it.
  7. When you cut them off, stay open to their input. Say, “I’ll be glad to continue this conversation next Tuesday.”

How might quiet leaders deal with talkative teammates?