Should Interruptions Be Pardoned? — 9 Comments

  1. Back in the day, I developed interrupting as a very bad habit when I worked with an office of men in the 80’s … and a woman had to be very aggressive to be heard. I found I only got to say anything if I started talking before they finished and cut off their final word or two. It has taken me a long time to get rid of this as a habit – and it still pops up once in a while.

    But I’ve found that my ability to hear my clients is probably the more important than any other capability I bring to my work.

  2. I see the interruption reflex as a by-product of our multi-tasking, ADHD society. We feel that we have only so much time for everything, including casual conversation. We think in bullet points and always have them ready to rip. In listening to others, we seem to think that the shortest of pauses is our opportunity to extend or embellish the exchange. I distinguish that from blatant interruption which shows complete indifference and ignorance. Good listeners may not listen to everything, but they at least have courtesy to let the speaker finish. Sharp communicators gauge the conversational flow and know when to pause to accommodate the tendencies of others.

    Fair to say that for most of us when our train of thought is rolling, we don’t want to have it derailed.

  3. Thank you for the reminder on basic manners and politeness first introduced to us by our mothers and first grade teachers.
    This has caused me to stop and think about the consequences of my interrupting others – miss communication, poor understanding, hurt feelings, friction, resentment, etc, etc. Thanks for the wake up call.

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