Talk
From  Cape Cod Times Dec 2002

   People who don’t talk too much are the marvel of the business world.

Business is Talk. All day. Most of it leading nowhere. Small Talk. Coffee Talk. Cell phone jabbering walking down the street. Talk is cheap, even on a cell phone. You wonder how much is rhetorical and how much is relationship ?

The most successful in business can accomplish what they need to without blathering on needlessly. There is conversation and then there is talk. There is the art of conversing and then there is the dual soliloquy, two separate and distinct broadcasts of individuality on two separate channels.

Some people have to deliver 20,000 words per day to in order to feel fulfilled. The destination can be secondary to the quota. This is not necessarily bad, it could be considered cathartic in medical circles. But too much of a good thing...

Sometimes even the well bred business person will find it necessary to commit one of the great violations of etiquette - the interruption. A very dangerous operation the interruption. But if handled surgically, at the right moment, with the right tone, it can save you from an even more dreaded event - being caught not really listening cause you couldn’t stand it any more.

If this seems harsh, think of it as if you are saving the feelings of your talker. Sort of like tough love. After all, they are probably only guilty of one crucial flaw: Not knowing how to end a thought. Or how to signal the other speaker it’s their turn.

Some wordy people will end your thought for you, beat you to the punch.

Then there are the Voice Mail Shakespeares. Like Howard Cosel they are hypnotized by the sound of their own voice and just love to color comment the events of the day, on and on and on...

I have some of the most talented orators in the country on my voice mail some mornings. I think they purposely call at night when they know I’m not there.

Don’t we all fall into the trap of using too many words at one time or another ? It’s actually easier to use a lot of words than to select the right ones. Lots of people are already talking while they are thinking of what they are going to say. The well developed concise expression of a specific thought with a beginning, middle and end is a rarity.

Words are noisy tools that accomplish silent results.

And lets not even talk about talk radio.