Monday, March 9, 2009

excessive talking

I was on the phone today for five hours discussing various business situations. It cut into my tv and poker time and I'm not sure whether any of the conversations moved me closer to making money. There is always more talk than action in business and most of it is wasted. I'm usually good at limiting talk and cutting to the heart of matters. I find though that most people need to talk more than necessary because they're lonely, insecure, bored, or addicted to hearing themselves speak.

I talk a lot myself at times, and theoretically there is nothing wrong with talking if you are expressing yourself clearly and accomplishing something with your words. Useless and excessive talking are problematic though. They waste your time and the time of those who are listening and even more importantly drain energy from you and your audience.

Anyone who is interested in personal development should be aware of their talking and its effects on those with whom they are communicating. When you talk too much or talk without consideration for the feeling of your listener, it is harmful to your business and personal relationships. Developing your communication skills requires real honesty with yourself and the ability to objectively assess your impact on those around you.

Becoming a good or great communicator begins with being a good listener. Being a good listener requires the ability to pay attention, to be in the moment, and to look beyond the words to get at the real intent of the one who is speaking. Women are usually better at this than men, although it doesn't have to be this way.

Most of us feel that we are the way we are and there is not much we can do about it. If this was true there would be little hope for improving our personal situations, our family lives, and our world. We can be better communicators. We can listen with more intention, with more effort, and a desire to truly understand. We can speak with more sincerity, which is at the heart of all successful talking. Real sincerity comes from a commitment to being open and expressing how we really feel and what we really want. Sincerity combined with clarity and directness is very powerful.

To have real conversations with real people to explore important questions in a spirit of caring and sharing is what I want in my life. I always envisioned myself sitting in a cafe with Socrates and his friends discussing the meaning and purpose of life as the ideal way to spend my time. Until I can find out how to achieve this I guess I'll have to settle for tv and internet.

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