You know that person. The one at the office you dread to see show up at your door. The one who can go on and on about their weekend, their problems, the guy in the cubicle next to them, and everything else that crosses their mind. How do they keep on talking without ever taking a breath?
The one that even when you attempt to interrupt just keeps right on talking over you? It’s like they are determined to talk no matter what anyone else might have to offer.
What if that person is you? Are you even aware of how much you dominate a conversation? Maybe it’s your way of feeling connected, but when you overshare your “me” stories, people often feel that they aren’t valued contributors. It’s important to take time and assess how you interact in these situations. Don’t forget – silence can be golden.
People need the space between words to process and put together thoughts. You need to learn to listen for the valuable pieces of information you might normally overlook. A lot of people listen with the intent of responding, not processing. When you are already compiling your response in your head before someone has finished telling you the information, you’re bound to miss vital pieces of information.
Try this tidbit in your next meeting and see if it opens deeper discussion or perhaps clues you into things you’ve been missing. If you are normally the first person to speak up with ideas, try holding off. See if your pause will allow someone else to initiate a conversation. Before you speak, take the time to think about what the person is really trying to get across.
In talking about the importance of kindness, it’s easy to forget that you have to start with being kind to yourself. How does it feel to hear that?