Exhaustive data research, including computer studies with impressive pie-charts, shows that Winkest Link readership tends to be young, hip, ‘happening’ and good-looking.
Yes, this means YOU (you handsome devil). You have much to be proud of.
All that is missing from you and your elite group is experience.
You know what I am loaded with? Experience!
Today the voice of experience will talk about talk. Specifically what to do (or not do) in conversations. These can apply at a party or any get-together, but most certainly should apply where you work.
I am a naturally chatty guy. I know a little about a lot of things, but probably don’t know a LOT about anything. With that in mind, here are some tips for you up-and-comers, some things a chatty guy has learned along the way. You are young, you are educated, you are smart, but….
You don’t have to join in every conversation.
You don’t have to correct everybody, even when you know they are wrong. (Side note: Sometimes YOU are wrong.)
Allow others to have victories, even when they are wrong (especially on insignificant issues).
Don’t fight battles that will make you look bad in victory.
Don’t feel obligated to prove how smart you are. Assuming you are the smartest guy in the room is a mental/emotional weakness, and is evidence you may be a little dumb.
Don’t over-talk anything. Don’t hog the conversation by telling everything you know about a given subject. Hit the highlights and let others speak.
Don’t interrupt. Belittling the opinions of others is normally viewed as an attack on that person. Witnesses are likely to view you as a bully, even if you are ‘right.’
Sometimes opinions are as important as facts. Allow people to have different opinions from yours. Remember this to avoid hurting people unnecessarily. (Addendum: Rolling your eyes while others speak is very smug, and people hate this.)
Before you talk, listen-listen-listen to get the real flow of the conversation.
Never raise your voice, it makes you seem unsure of yourself. People naturally listen more attentively to soft speech, and tune out loud/abrasive speech.
Finally, it is never wrong to just shut up once in a while.