Being interrupted in the middle of a conversation can be frustrating. Everyone interrupts once in a while, but there are some people who are continuous interrupters. Of course, it’s good to understand why people do what they do since it can help you respond to them. The goal is to be kind, but firm. Sometimes overlooking the interruptions helps, but often it will require a firm reminder. It turns out there are two types of conversationalists-those who expect only one person at a time to talk and those who enjoy engaging others while they talk. If you realize that you are perceived as an interrupter, you may want to learn how to stop interrupting. Try to follow the tips suggested to help deal with it kindly when someone interrupts. In the end, the goal is to be a good listener and make the people feel like you’re interested in what they have to say.
CONFRONT THE INTERRUPTER
If you’ve tried various strategies to stop an interrupter without success, the best policy may be to address them. If while you or someone else is speaking, the interrupter blurbs out their thoughts, say something like, “I want to hear what you have to say,_________, but could you let me finish my thoughts first?”.
Stop the speaker and ask questions. This allows the interrupter to say what they wanted to say. Sometimes, they have good thoughts or concerns, but they lack the self-control to wait. So, asking a question provides them an outlet. Say something like, “So, are there any thoughts or questions so far about what __________has shared with us?” This allows the interrupter to share their thoughts and can help them give up interrupting when the speaker continues.
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SET COMMUNICATION RULES
If you’re leading a meeting, it’s important to set some general communications rules at the onset of the conversation. At the beginning of the meeting, say something like, “ Just as a reminder, please hold your thoughts and questions until each speaker has finished sharing their thoughts.” Some leaders use a silent hand-in-the-air signal to stop people who start to interrupt. This reminds the interrupter to stop talking without drawing attention to them in the middle of the meeting.
IGNORE THE INTERRUPTION
When someone interrupts you sometimes it’s best to ignore the interruption and keep talking. Everyone communicates differently, and sometimes people get excited about what they’re hearing and interrupt because of their excitement. It’s not worth it to address an interruption every time it happens.
Do you find interruption annoying?
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