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Don't Talk Too Much!

Categories: Business & Corporate, Blog

The value of not talking too much

We all know that person, the one you meet in a business or personal setting who cannot stop themselves from dominating a conversation or room. They don’t let anyone else say much. When the conversation or meeting is over, you know too much about them assuming they spoke about themselves, which most people like that do, or too much of their personal opinions, and we all know the saying about opinions and everyone having one. On the other hand, they may not even remember your name and didn’t let you speak enough to learn about you to have anything substantive to remember. 

I read an article recently about annoying personalities on display at all networking events. That author had nicknames for various types of characters she encountered. It made me think of different types of people. The person I describe above can be referred to as the “Chatterbox.” The Chatterbox may be that way for a number of reasons such as (1) ego; (2) lack of self-awareness; or (3) social awkwardness. The reason doesn’t matter, but what you should do does: exit the conversation.  

When meeting someone for the first time for business makes sure you try to learn more about their background and their business versus what you speak about and share. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share about you and your business, but if you focus on asking questions and learning about them, you will put yourself in a place to make a possible connection and know they aren’t walking away thinking you talk too much and don’t really care about what they do or have to say. 

A great resource I work with passed on a link to a good article on this subject last year. The author of the article wrote about what he referred to as the Traffic Light Rule. It is another method to use to avoid talking too much. The gist is that the light is green the first twenty seconds you are speaking, yellow for the next twenty seconds and at the forty second mark the light turns red. If you play through that red light, bad things can and do happen. 

So don’t be a Chatterbox or run red lights and you will put yourself in a better position to have meaningful interactions. 

Here is the link to the article referenced above: How to Know if You Talk too Much by Mark Goulston 

As always, this post and others can be found on my blog, BusinessLawGuy’s Blog.


About the author: Neal H. Bookspan is a partner at the Phoenix, Arizona law firm of Jaburg Wilk. He assists clients with business issues, commercial litigation, workouts and bankruptcy litigation.