We've all been there — an amazing idea pops into your head and, without even realizing it, you've interrupted whomever is speaking to share your thought. Talking over others stops the flow of conversation and is also disrespectful to the person speaking. This faux pas is forgivable from time to time, but when it becomes a persistent characteristic, interrupting may cost you your job . . . and even a few friends. Along with learning how to be patient, retraining your brain to change how it responds to instant ideas can curb your interrupting ways. Here are a few tips to take into consideration:
- Write it down: When listening, if a great thought comes to mind, discretely write it down in a notebook while keeping up with the conversation, especially when meeting with senior managers or important clients. Wait for a break in conversation before asserting your opinion or new ideas.
- Ask a question: Instead of busting someone's talking flow, wait until the end of a thought and share your view phrased as a question. Yes, you're still cutting in, but asking a question creates an opportunity to offer new ideas and thoughts while sticking with the direction of the discussion.
- Get help: Enlist an office buddy or good friend to tip you off when you interrupt. Come up with a special hand signal or give your helper the OK to deliver a swift kick under the table to curb your interrupting ways.