Do You Talk Too Much?

Much of my career as a leader has been marked by talking. As a husband, father, leader, and coach I am expected to talk.  Nearly every day, at work and home, I am explaining how to do things, answering questions, and solving problems.  Throughout the years, I have gotten to be quite skilled at talking. But as a leader I have learned that listening is often much more important than talking.  Talking too much or too quickly brings (at a minimum) the following problems:

1.  Making a person feel completely unheard

When a person needs to ask a question or discuss something, they often don’t need me to provide them with answers.  They are rather looking to process verbally and be listened to. If I quickly step in to answer their question or solve their problem I am missing the point of what is often needed – someone to listen to them rather than someone to hastily solve their problem.

2.  Solving the wrong problem

Sometimes when a person approaches me to ask a question or to discuss something I hastily throw my brilliant problem-solving skills into action.  But I then discover that the question that I was answering was not the question that the person was even asking. Many times I have found myself solving the wrong problem.

Both of these problems occur when a leader talks more than he listens. Many people seem to be completely unaware of how much they talk and how little they listen.  When a leader listens well, he is giving others the opportunity to express their thoughts, facilitating growth without a lecture, and communicating that the person’s thoughts, words, and opinions are valuable.

Great leaders listen more than they talk.



Posted by Brian Howard

My focus is to help YOU move forward one step at a time. I write about church excellence, personal productivity, and family leadership. I coach leaders, start churches, and help organizations break growth barriers. My goal is to draw on this experience to help YOU move forward in life, leadership, and productivity.