If Words Had Calories – Suggestions for Bloviators

Words are like ice cream. A little ice cream tastes good, but a lot of ice cream isn’t better.

If words had calories, what size would you be? Would you be healthy, anemic, or a ginormous balloon with bulging eyes and drooling lips?

If you never consider how many words cross your lips, you might be a bloviator.

Image of a wide-eyed kitten.

Listening encourages engagement.

Inner critic:

My inner critic relishes the trip home after a presentation. Frankly, he comes out after I do most anything. He enjoys helping me evaluate any interaction. You probably know some of his best-loved words.

  1. Shouldn’t have…
  2. Why did you…
  3. I can’t believe…
  4. You idiot… (A personal favorite.)

My inner critic came out the other day and said, “You blabbed on and on. Why did you talk so damn much?” (My inner critic loves slang.)

The trouble with my inner critic is sometimes he’s right. I got excited and couldn’t stop talking. The person across the table couldn’t have slipped a word in edgewise, even if he tried.

If words had calories, I would have puffed up and exploded.

Three dangers of talking too much:

#1. Disengagement.

Listening encourages engagement. People disengage when they’re convinced you aren’t listening.

#2. Devaluation.

Bloviating leaders devalue people.

Some people might perform better when they feel devalued, but most will turn into sleepwalking zombies.

#3. Stupidity.

Thinking your own thoughts might be enlightening but learning usually begins with listening.

Blabbermouth leaders are dumber than they think.

Four modest suggestions for bloviators:

  1. Go on a word diet. Just say fewer words.
  2. Ask questions to explore meaning.
  3. Turn enthusiasm for your own ideas into enthusiasm to learn about other people.
  4. Try silence. But don’t give the impression you’re mad.

What are some dangers of talking too much?

What suggestions do you have for talkative leaders?