At the end of a workshop the speaker was asked a quick question. Well aware the session was all but over, he allowed this one last question, and then proceeded with his response. Interestingly, the speaker seemed aware of the time situation, even alluding to it with comments like “wrapping up soon.” But he just kept on talking. I think the speaker really thought what was being said took priority over honoring the time – OUR time. I believe the speaker was the only one in the room that felt that way.
Bottom line, and I see it more and more, is this: People talk too much!! And on top of that they ask very little. And when they do ask, it’s usually a set up for them to talk more!
I am speaking of people in both professional and personal settings. I am shocked at the amount of uninvited information or over expanded detail that is offered in conversation – even sales conversations – and professional sales people should absolutely know the difference.
In fact, I just ran into an old acquaintance recently. We spoke for about 15 minutes, and he asked exactly zero questions! None. Am I that uninteresting? Don’t answer that! But, seriously, I was probably very interesting to him because I let him talk, and talk, and talk. And he liked talking. But was he interesting to me? Not at all.
So, here are a few ideas. One: Don’t assume you’re so super interesting that you can overcome throwing up big chunks on people and still come out on top. Two: Listen with your eyes while you talk – be aware of their interest level and finish well before they glaze over. In other words, leave people wanting more, not wanting out! Last: Ask questions. Get others talking about themselves. Learn from them. The person who is talking cannot be listening.
Be the listener, not the talker. The listener is the one who shows value. And people move to where they feel valued.