Monday, November 15, 2010

Talking Too Much? Maybe Not!

You may criticize or envy talkers, but according to a recent study, they have a leg up on the rest of us! What do I mean? Well, an article on the study in Washington University Magazine (Oct. 2010) says the gabby types have found one of the secrets to a happier life.

Now let’s get specific. The research from Washington University (St. Louis, MO) and the University of Arizona, notes that “people who spend less time alone and more time talking to others have a much greater sense of personal well being … [and] the happiest people engaged often in more meaningful and substantive discussions, as opposed to those who filled conversations with idle chit-chat and small talk.” The study was published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Organizations and their constituencies should take note. The internet is facilitating dialogue with customers and others, but this study demonstrates the value of organizational leadership taking the initiative to reach out and join together — in person — with these groups for valuable dialogue. It will result in happier customers, employees, suppliers and others. Isolating yourself does no one any good. Interaction is critical.

Who were the happiest participants in the study? Those who spent 25 percent less time alone and 70 percent more time talking to others, as compared with the unhappiest participants. Everyone from the President of the U.S. on down can benefit from this lesson.

Technorati Tags: Washington University, Psychological Science,University of Arizona, public relations, business, communications, Makovsky

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