When was the last time someone started talking… and as you listened, you wished they would just stop? I’ve been working with both clients and colleagues this month and I am reminded about the need to be clear, precise and concise. Very recently, I have partnered with a colleague in my industry who simply talks far too much in their answers. They talk about topics which don’t relate to the question, they repeat everything, quickly and they just keep on talking… it’s actually painful and frustrating to experience. Too. Much. Information. TMI. Poor listening. Lack of curiosity. Really poor skills.
The research from the world of behaviour economics supports a different approach, and we absolutely have to dial up our skills in this area – especially in a remote working environment that is here to stay. Harvard Business Review published fascinating research in 2016 that I use regularly with my clients to encourage talking less. The first twenty seconds of speaking typically means we have the ear of our audience. As pack animals, we actually like talking and during this period, we can get comfortable and start to relax into our point. Isn’t that great? Well, beware. If we keep talking for a further twenty seconds, there is a very real danger that our audience will think that we’re talking too much. Beyond forty seconds? Then steady on; it’s highly likely that we’ve lost the room.
Being better means:
1) Gathering your thoughts before starting to speak.
2) Organizing your message into three parts.
3) Pacing your delivery so that the audience can understand what is being said.
4) Knowing when to stop.
I’ll take my cue, right there.
Until next time….