Consulting advice: if you agree, stop talking

By | July 13, 2014

We all like to talk. This is not always good. It is often good to stop talking. Don’t re-iterate what the person said.  Don’t overdo it on the paraphrase. If you agree, nod your head. Say “it makes sense”. Say “Great”. Stop talking.

Getting the last word. There are people everywhere who talk too much. When you have a conversation with them, they will try and get the last word in.  When there is nothing more to say, they will paraphrase what your said.

  • I completely agree, blah, blah
  • My thoughts exactly,  blah blah
  • Sure, I think what you are saying is blah blah

Stop the blah, blah. Those are all wasted words. Listening means not talking. Listening means letting them own parts of the conversation and letting thoughts flow.

Cutting people off when they are talking is a bad habit. Something I am personally working on.  It stops the train of the other person’s thought, is disrespectful, and honestly pretty ineffective; It takes more time to get each side’s point across. Overly paraphrasing, and repeating back what someone just said is also a “lack of listening.”

We are agreeing violently. This happens to me at least once a week.  I will stop the conversation / discussion / debate and say, “I think we are agreeing violently.” At which time, the other person usually pauses and thanks me for that reality check.

Agreeing violently

When the customer has bought, shut up. From sales training, they teach you to shut-up once the customer has decided to buy. More times than not, if the sales person keeps talking. . . they essentially will “un-sell” the product.

Caveat: Of course, paraphrase when needed. When you really do want to clarify instructions, or make sure you heard things right, ask. Definitely ask.

What you don’t want to do (and I see this all the time) is repeat back what the other person is saying so that you get the last word in, sound smart, own the conversation, or like to hear your own voice.  If you agree, stop talking.

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2 thoughts on “Consulting advice: if you agree, stop talking

  1. ULYSSES

    How do we pass this message to a third person? Stop Talking? Shut it?
    I would pay for a solution for this problem. Its also a problem related with your previous topic, meetings.

    I guess, this the kind of advice that works only with people that listen, normally not the kind of person that knows when to stop talking…

    Goog Luck.

    Ulysses – Brazil

    Reply
    1. consultantsmind Post author

      So true. Some people are open to coaching, others are not. That is the good thing about consulting, project-based work. You can slowly start putting teams together that work well together. Also, nice that there are other ways to give input (reviews, informal dinners etc).

      That said, some people do not “take a hint”

      Reply

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