THE HIGH COST OF POINTLESS CONVERSATIONS
HAVING WORKED WITH LEADERS and teams for 27 years, Tanja M Jones has observed how many of them spend too much time talking about ‘stuff', situations or people outside of their control, with not enough time speaking for possibility, excellence, innovation and change. Here are some good reasons why leaders should think first before they speak, and how the things that are said can go a long way towards creating success.
While the number of words the average person speaks per day can depend on age, culture and other factors, a University of Arizona study found that most people speak around 16,000 words every 24 hours.
This study found no significant difference between male and female subjects, debunking previous claims that women speak over 10,000 more words in a day than men. This means we are speaking nearly six million words per year, yet how effective are the words we use?
Not enough time is spent speaking for possibility, excellence, innovation, and change.
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU SPEND SPEAKING?
Have you ever stopped to calculate exactly how much time you spend speaking and assessed the quality of your words? Studies from McKinsey Global Institute, International Date Corporate and the Journal of Communication have. Their key findings were that leaders spend about 80 per cent of their workdays communicating.
This is a huge part of the day, so how do we get to that percentage? Consider that all communication is divided into many forms. According to The Washington Post, CBS Money Watch and The Muse it is as follows: • 28 per cent: the portion of each workday dedicated to reading and responding to emails • 26 per cent: the portion of each workday the typical Fortune 500 CEO spends on the phone. • 50 per cent: the portion of a senior manager’s typical workday dedicated to meetings. (The same research finds that organisations spend 15 per cent of their collective time in meetings.)