Webster’s Dictionary defines verbose as “given to wordiness” and “impaired by wordiness.” How fitting; we all know individuals who are impaired by wordiness. Our response to a speaker who does not have an “off” button is to stop listening.
Ask yourself: are you the verbose speaker others avoid? What about your listening skills? Are you listening more than you talk? If you aren’t sure, ask someone at work or home that will shoot straight with you. Listen to their feedback. Ask them:
- Do I tend to talk more than I listen?
- Do I use more words than necessary to get my point across?
- Rate my listening skills on a scale from 1 to 10.
Use what you learn to make changes in the way you share information. Before you open your mouth, ask yourself two questions: “Is this information relevant?” and “What would happen if I don’t speak?”
Discipline yourself to use fewer words. Look at your email communication. If it is wordy, you can assume that you are wordy in conversation as well.