Author: Richard Feloni
Not even the best ideas can put you on the path to success if no one will listen to you. Speaker and author Julian Treasure gave a popular TED Talk last year that explained how anyone can speak effectively, whether in a conversation or in front of a crowd. How well you influence others is as much about you do say as what you don’t.
Here are the bad habits you need to avoid if you want people to listen to you, which Treasure calls the “seven deadly sins of speaking”:
Speaking badly of somebody else seems to have a chain reaction, Treasure says. If you engage in gossip, you can give yourself a bad reputation and inspire others to start gossiping about you.
If you fill your conversations with judgments of others, you’re making the person you’re speaking with self-conscious of being judged themselves, Treasure says. They’ll be afraid to open up to you and may shut down completely.
3. Being negative
“My mother, in the last years of her life, became very, very negative, and it’s hard to listen,” he says. “I remember one day, I said to her, ‘It’s October 1 today,’ and she said, ‘I know, isn’t it dreadful?'” Choosing to be optimistic will make you more enjoyable to talk to. Plus, it’s better for your health.
Complaining easily becomes a habit, and before you know it, you’ll be known as the person who complains about the weather, the news, work, and everything else. It’s what Treasure calls “viral misery.”
5. Making excuses
Some people have a “blamethrower,” Treasure says, putting the blame on anybody and anything except themselves when met with failure. While others may let the occasional excuse slide, a constant stream of them reveals that you do not take responsibility for your actions.
Exaggeration “demeans our language,” Treasure says. Adding dramatic flair is essentially a form of lying, and “we don’t want to listen to people we know are lying to us.”
7. Being dogmatic
It’s dangerous when opinions and facts become confused. Nobody wants to be bombarded with opinions stated as if they were true.