My supervisor and I had a conversation this afternoon about the challenges (and sometimes benefits) of talking too much.
Both of us feel, at times, that we talk more than we need to, and it can be a struggle to remind ourselves that sometimes we need to speak less and listen more.
The funny part is that we are both strong listeners (thanks to her, I’ve become a much better listener than I was when I first started at my organization); sometimes, our need to find connections and direction can result in us asking more questions than we might need to or, through attempts at clarification, setting a direction that occurs more by happenstance than because we are particularly wed to it.
And, because we are both cognizant of other people’s feelings, we tend to get concerned when we feel we have over-voiced our thoughts or ideas.
With all that said, one important lesson I’ve learned from monitoring my own airtime is that there is a time when we do need to speak up more than we might normally want to. While those times might be few and far between, when we do recognize them as coming up, we have to take advantage of them. We should never be comfortable with a direction we don’t believe in just because we would be required to talk more to share a conflicting view.
In the end, I’m not sure if we ended up talking too much. What I do know, is at least in this case, I believe our contributions were helpful, and that seems to be the balance point.