Shut Up and Let 'Em Talk!
I'm sitting in the coffee house and two men at a table fairly close by were having a rather informal, but lively meeting. I could tell that the two were getting acquainted with each other, and the one was trying to sell the other on a cause, job, or something or another. I had to laugh as the guy, who was doing most of the talking, kept telling his companion, "but I wanna hear about you." After the second time of hearing him say it, I wanted to yell, "then shut up, and let 'em talk!" LOL. But of course, I was not a part of the discussion, so I thought it best to keep my mouth shut.
Obviously, a conversation (with another person) takes two to have and should be an act of give and take. You give a little info, you take a little info. Otherwise, you're just venting, or worst yet, talking at the person. And though, an exchange of ideas and opinions is how it should work, many of us find ourselves in discussions where we're either doing all the talking or we're unable to get a word in edgewise. Either way, it's not cool. If you're the one doing all the talking, then you look like a self-absorbed, egotistical individual, who's made the relationship all about you. Likewise, if you sit back and let the other person do all the talking, you are withholding precious nuggets about yourself, and your life situations that your companion may need to build their faith, confirm a decision they need to make, or get a revelation about something they're working through. Conversation does work best when both parties actively participate.
*Sidenote* Leaders, if you're working to become a better leader, a more transformational or coaching leader, then you want to spend more time listening than you do talking. And if you're the one who usually dominate the discussion because you think it's your right to do so as the boss, may I respectfully ask you to "shut up and let 'em talk!" You just might learn something.