October 25


Ever Wonder Why You’re Not

Taken Seriously?

Here are 9 major mistakes talkers make that makes others shake their heads. See if you use any of these Talk-Stoppers

1. Talking too much. The other day, I was stopped by a neighbor I hadn't seen for awhile. Though I was happy to talk to her at the beginning, by the time she listed all her medical woes and procedures, one after another after another, I found a break in the monologue and explained I was late for an appointment.

We all like to talk, and need to, but when we don't permit anyone else a chance to speak, we get discounted. People who talk too much tend to give too many details no one is interested in.  When the listeners eyes glaze over or they start fidgeting, you've gone on too long! Time to pause. Take a breath and allow someone else to comment on what has just been said.

2. Not really listening. Yes, listening can be hard work. As in the case above, you're not required to keep listening to someone who is simply running on endlessly. 

But if you're talking to someone you care about,  pay attention. Not paying attention when someone else is speaking, shows an insensitivity and lack of concern for the person. By paying the other person the respect of your attention, that person thinks better of you. Not listening when someone else is speaking can be seen as rude. we don't take rude people seriously.

More than that, you're likely missing important information you'd have...if you listened.

3. Using cliches and jargon. Too many people try to be impressive by using all the latest business buzzwords. Unfortunately, those words quickly loose their meaning, labeling their user as someone without an original thought.

I know of one case where a young man was trying to impress a very successful business man in a job interview. He used all the latest business "buzzwords." The interview ended quickly. The business man he was trying to impress was a straight talker, who didn't have time for people unable to express themselves clearly.

4. Using sarcasm. People who resort to using sarcasm in either personal or business situations, quickly lose their listener's respect. Sarcasm is a put-down. It certainly doesn't inspire warm feelings or trust. Sarcasm simply tries to make points with a negative spin on what should be a positive discussion. It's a hostile attack on the one you're speaking with. Definitely a talk stopper.

5. A know-it-all attitude. Many people, especially in a heated discussion, will take the stance that whatever they say is all that needs to be said on the subject. They consider their word the final one, and only correct view.

6. Using inappropriate language and swear words. Though we seem to have a greater tolerance today for inappropriate language, using it still shows the lack of necessary vocabulary and coherent thought to make your point. It often is hostile. It does nothing to win respect and help one to be taken seriously. And to many people, it's still offensive. 

7. Speaking with too little volume. It is important to loudly enough so people can hear you. If people can't hear you, they won't know what you said or give you the attention you deserve. This is equally true online as it is in person. Many YouTube videos or Zoom conferences have inadequate volume making it a chore to listen to them.

8. Constantly interrupting. Sometimes a good reason exists for someone to interrupt (a lie is being told, something being misrepresented.) However, in the normal course of conversation, someone constantly interrupting is simply showing their rudeness, and/or trying to show one-upmanship.

Once upon a time, women were accused of doing more talking than men, and interrupting more. Then a number of studies were done showing that, in fact, men both talked more and interrupted women more frequently than they interrupted other men.

Generally speaking, interrupting is playing a status game. 

9. Going off topic. Discussing irrelevant points that have little to do with the topic. For instance, when the discussion is "How do we save more money?" ' this is not the time to bring out a list of all your grievances re: housework, childcare, or employees who are late for work. Stay on topic. Think solution and problem solving. The more creative solutions you can offer, the more seriously you'll be listened to.


All of us get carried away and make some of  these mistakes occasionally. I know I have! The important point is to become aware of your tendencies and/or habits so when it's important, you are taken seriously.

To find out your tendencies, record your part of a conversation. Or even better, record a group discussion that you're part of. Play it back and listen as if you were someone else evaluating the group.


Speaking faults that limit your power

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