Saying or writing too much raises concerns with supervisors. It occupies too much of their time listening to or reading your communications. Co-workers, managers, and others begin to avoid people who monopolize too much of their time. You do not receive prime assignments or invitations to major work teams if people want to avoid you.
Examples of Communicating Too Much and Consequences
Let me share two examples of people who failed to recognize this trait and the consequences:
Liz managed a division of a nonprofit organization. Her competence and good ideas increased her reputation with management. Unfortunately, Liz frequently sent her ideas to management in 3-6 page emails or memos. Directors and executives initially waded through the exorbitant number of words and pages. She shared a lot of good ideas. However, the length of her messages outweighed their benefit.
As a result, management ignored many of her good ideas. She never received a promotion in 15 years.
Peter, an architectural draftsman, started a new job with a prestigious firm. They appreciated the quality of his drafting and technical skills with AutoCAD. His supervisor recognized that he finished work ahead of deadlines. The supervisor did not appreciate how much of his time Peter occupied giving answers. Peter tended to talk a lot. He would take 15-20 minutes answering one question or talking to his supervisor, co-workers, and clients. He did not notice how much he talked.
One morning 3 month’s into the job, Peter’s supervisor, a human resource representative, and another member of management met with Peter and terminated his employment.
Tips to Overcome Talking Too Much
You may try several tactics to change your behavior and stop talking too much:
- Review all written emails, messages or reports and reduce their length by half
- Resist the urge to comment on every topic in meetings or conversations
- Ask a colleague to signal you when you talk too long or longer than needed
.Friday we explore how backstabbing and guerilla tactics can cost you your job