Five Ways to Be Polite With People Who Bother You
“I thought about it,” I said at a team meeting at one of my previous jobs, “and I really think that the partner lists on our website will work better if we…” “Let me step in,” one intervened. of my colleagues, even before I had time to finish my thought and put my idea on the table.
This post was originally published on the Muse website .
She continued to put forward her proposal, and I sat dazed and with a drooping jaw on the other end of the table in the conference room.
Sounds familiar? We’ve all dealt with those people who constantly echo their two cents, very little (ahem, zero ) paying attention to the fact that you are literally right in the middle of a sentence. It’s rude, frustrating, and ultimately pretty counterproductive.
So, you find yourself in a quandary – what is the best way to react when you are suddenly interrupted ? You can’t just jump back in and cut off that person, or you’ll end up in this vicious cycle of constant interruptions in communication. But at the same time, you don’t want this person to keep getting away with you.
Working effectively when someone keeps interrupting you can be a bit of a slippery slope. And as with most things, the best way to handle this can vary depending on your situation. But these five tips should at least help you deal with this chronic offender. And no, they don’t require screaming in frustration – although this is a surefire way to get someone to stop talking.
1. Let go
Sometimes the best thing you can do when faced with interruptions is to do nothing at all. As crazy (and infuriating) as it sounds, the best course of action may be to simply take a deep breath and release it, especially if it happens only once or very infrequently.
We all communicate in different ways. And there are people who intervene simply because they are incredibly involved and excited about what you say and want to show that they are actively involved in the conversation. Or, perhaps interrupting them is something that really needs to happen right now, for example, an amendment to a fact that you keep stating, or to a really solid and useful idea.
Yes, taking breaks can be frustrating. But the point here is that not all of them are worthy of consideration (or worse, you get frustrated).
2. Set expectations right away
Whether you are speaking at a team meeting or giving a presentation, it is important to you that you can get all your thoughts and ideas outlined before opening the floor for questions and suggestions. Nobody can blame you! However, you have to clarify this to everyone, especially if there is a colleague who is known for constantly interfering.
How can you start on the right foot? Start your presentation with something simple and straightforward, such as: “Some of these ideas are a little underdeveloped, and I definitely look forward to your thoughts on them! But I think that our discussion will be much more productive if I express my thoughts first, and then we can open questions for questions and suggestions. “
It sets the tone from the start that you strive to share your ideas without distraction. It’s not that you’re closed to any improvement – you just want to make sure you can speak your mind without losing a consistent response.
This also makes it easy to stop the breaker. When he starts talking about his unwanted failures, you can simply remind him of the request you made in the beginning.
3. Just keep going
Unfortunately, there are people who completely ignore your wishes and continue to interfere and interrupt you. You could blow the misty horn every time they decided to interrupt you, and it wouldn’t matter – they just went on and on.
So why not use the same tactic? Don’t pause to be distracted and instead keep moving forward with your intended chatter. If necessary, you can even pause for a second to reach out to the interrupter and say “a minute,” and then finish your thought.
Yes, it might sound a little childish – and probably a little more assertive than you would naturally want to be. But sometimes fire can only be fought with fire. And, at the very least, you are guaranteed to realize your whole idea without constant interference.
4. Ask questions
As I mentioned earlier, interrupts are not all bad. In fact, some of them can actually make very valuable contributions to the conversation.
So, when one of your coworkers is jumping in with his two cents, asking questions can be a great way to solve the problem without direct confrontation or aggression – and even allow you to get some useful insights and added value from the exchange. …
Ask her to expand on her ideas or explain why she disagrees with what you are saying. You can broaden your point of view – and who knows, you might find something worthwhile. But what’s the best part? This notorious interrupter’s humor – even for a moment – will likely calm her down for a while so you can continue with the rest of your sentence. At least one can hope.
5. Solve this problem now
There are times when you realize that no strategy or clever communication tactic will silence this person. Instead, you just need to grab the bull by the horns and let him know that he needs to wait his turn.
Unfortunately, this is not something to sugarcoat. You will need to be firm and straightforward to get your point across. But just because you need to be direct does not mean that you cannot be polite .
So, the next time that pesky interrupter jumps right in the middle of a sentence, try arguing, “John, I appreciate your suggestions. But could you please let me finish my thoughts, and then we will talk about them openly? Thank you.”
It’s simple, but a little less straightforward than something like, “John, shut up and let me talk!”
It is always difficult to deal with someone who constantly cuts you off in the middle of a sentence. But you deserve to be able to express your thoughts and ideas without being distracted from the constant glitches and disruptions. Use these five tips the next time someone jumps at the wrong time, and you’ll be sure to walk through your story without the sound of a jaded record.