Do You Know What You Miss When You Interrupt?
I’m an interrupter. I am embarrassed to admit it. But since acceptance is the first step on the path to actually fixing a problem, I started owning it a few years ago. I knew if I didn’t accept my behavior, it would be impossible to change it.
I read an interesting perspective in Huff Post recently about one possible outcome of being a person who interrupts others. They talked about the possibility that interrupting could be keeping me from getting a complete perspective. I could be making decisions based on incomplete information. This is simply because I am not letting others provide their insight into the conversation.
Now, like I said earlier, I recognized my interrupting problem quite a while ago. I am getting much better these days at not interrupting. Or when I do, catching myself and stopping to apologize. But I would like to get to the point where interrupting is a rare occurrence, not something I do almost every freakin’ week. Well, at least it’s not everyday anymore.
In the HuffPost piece the author, Laura Berger was discussing a client who had a revelation about how her habit of interrupting was affecting the business. Berger had proposed that the client start to “Listen All the Way,” to what people were saying in an effort to cease interruptions. And what the client discovered is stopping people from speaking was keeping her from hearing solutions from her team that were better than her own. Gotta love that.
A few years ago this whole interrupting issue became an issue when I heard someone state that a particular person just listened to others for a break for them to speak about themselves. Now my issue wasn’t quite that bad. But I knew I didn’t want to be even close to that anymore. So began my quest to be a better listener.
I still have a way to go. I know may never get to the point where I don’t interrupt ever again. That doesn’t mean I can’t make yet another attempt. Starting tomorrow, I’m working even harder to Listen. All. The. Way.
What do you think of this strategy?