All Articles Leadership Are you more of a talker or a listener?

Are you more of a talker or a listener?

2 min read


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Are you more of a talker or a listener?

  • I talk way too much: 8%
  • I talk a lot, but I listen too: 27%
  • I strike a good balance between talking and listening: 27% 
  • I mostly listen but talk when required: 32%
  • I listen too much and don’t talk enough: 6%

More listening, less talking. There are many aphorisms out there about listening. They exist because they’re true. You can’t learn unless you listen. But keeping quiet is a difficult skill to master. Once you accept you might have a “talking problem” there are simple techniques for dialing back the chatter ranging from focusing on learning instead of talking and replacing your urge to offer thoughts with asking questions. Once you master some of these tools, you’ll listen more and the talking you do will drive deeper, more meaningful conversations.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, author of  the upcoming book “The Elegant Pitch: Create a Compelling Recommendation, Build Broad Support, and Get it Approved” and “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”