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In the last post (5 leadership lessons from a dinner gathering), I told the story of a gentleman who was rather dominating in the conversation. One of my colleagues, Dr. Nick Howard suggested I write about how to NOT be that guy.

I thought that could be interesting, although I am a little concerned about writing about this again.

Disclaimer: I think many of us can be That Person, depending on what is going on with us at the moment. It is easy to picture myself behaving exactly like this gentleman and not even realizing it. And No, it was not me this time.

To recap, a highly successful entrepreneur, speaker and life coach was at dinner with a group of business people. Early in the evening, this gentleman kept interrupting and telling stories about himself, his business and his family. As the evening progressed, the table was split between two people at one end (he being one of them) and five at the other. Here are 3 ways to not be That Guy.

  1. Take a break from being the talker. Even if you have the most knowledge or experience in the room, you don’t have to be center of every conversation. Unless you are on stage as the keynote speaker, take a breath and give others a chance to share what they would like to share.
  2. Listen to those around you. Listen carefully to what the others are saying. What typically happens when we are in conversation is that a memory is triggered of something we were involved in, then we jump in and share it, sometimes interrupting the person talking, or more often, as soon as the other person pauses or seems to finish, we jump in with how we can relate. Instead, try focusing on the other person’s story and see if there is a follow-up question or comment. Remember, people actually think more favorably of you when they do the talking and you do the listening.
  3. Ask questions. As I just mentioned, ask others to talk about themselves. You already know what you know know. See what you can learn from those around you.

Those are just 3 ways. [reminder]What are some other ways you know to not be that person? I’d love to learn from you![/reminder]

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