Whether we like to face them head on sometime, we all have weaknesses. While I know we’d rather focus on our strengths it’s important to know where our weaknesses are. Everybody has them and I’m going to “pull back the curtain” and share mine with you today. Hopefully, it will inspire you to do a little self-reflection of your own.
I talk too much.
There I said it. Something everyone in my life has known since I was born. I’ve admitted. As a salesperson (and supposedly a good one), that is a terrible trait. However, I honestly believe I’ve found a way to separate it from my selling life and the rest of my life.
In selling situations I feel I do a really good job of pulling information out of the customer with probing, open-ended questions and for the most part I let them talk. It’s really not there where I have a problem.
It’s in the rest of my life.
I’m a talker. Period. And at times it’s a problem.
I’ve done a lot of soul searching recently because it was truly hard for me to admit this—as crazy as that may sound. Because of my personality, people expect me to talk—or at least that’s my perception. But, if I “force” myself to be quiet people think I’m mad or upset; it’s a double edge sword.
If someone were to describe me, I wouldn’t be surprised if they used the old saying, “Butch is the kind of guy who if you ask him what time it is, he’ll tell you how to build a watch.”
A few times recently I’ve had people either verbally or with body language give me the old, “OK, wrap it up—we’ve heard enough” sign.
That hurts a little.
But, in this soul searching I found (what I think is) the problem: I detest silence. For me silence in a social situation is the most uncomfortable thing to tolerate. It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard. I absolutely hate it! For some reason—no matter whether I’m around five people or five hundred people I always feel the pressure to be the guy to FILL the silence—with something—usually a joke or lighthearted remark.
Granted, I can be dead serious when necessary. But, that’s not what most people know me for.
In thinking about this I believe the problem stems from my 10-years as a stand-up comic and the time I get to spend as a Speaker. Silence is deadly in those situations. Silence is bad. It’s a no-no. And, as the “performer” it’s my job to fill that silence—with something—anything to keep the conversation moving and the crowd involved.
I just have to learn to turn those feelings off in social situations. I’m trying. It’s not going to be easy—it’s something I’ve been struggling with. Again, I feel as if being quiet I’m putting out a vibe that I’m in a bad mood. It’s really a strange dynamic.
So, there you have it: My strongest weakness and something I’d love to improve.
Nobody’s perfect. Do you have a weakness you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you…I promise I’ll be quiet and listen.