Some executives and professionals might not think it’s a problem if a co-worker constantly interrupts them and doesn’t actively listen during meetings. They may not want to make a scene, “rock the boat,” or appear toxic with other co-workers. However, suppose you are not getting the chance to communicate your ideas, thoughts, and solutions to problems. In that case, it’s difficult for you to be identified as a pivotal contributor to the team. This situation can lead to you being passed over for exciting projects, raises, and promotions. Here is how to work with a non-active listener or interrupter and make sure you’re getting your point across!
Inform Them You Were Not Finished
During meetings and conversations, it is expected that co-workers may become so excited by a proposal that they start adding to your points, expanding on the application, or moving the topic in another but related direction. Sometimes this conversational interlude is harmless, and you can quickly redirect into the conversation. In different situations, the interruption could be unrelated and counterproductive. This can frequently occur when active listening skills are not at play and the individual picks up on the part of the conversation out of context. At that time, it’s beneficial to articulate the problem and say something in the vein of, “I wasn’t finished with this topic or my point.” Doing this allows you to redirect the conversation and interject. Have confidence in your stance, and be sure that your tone is firm but isn’t emotional or rude.
Talk to the Individual in Private
If you have noticed a pattern, and one person seems to be constantly interrupting you, take some time to speak with that person privately. Let them know that you appreciate their enthusiasm on a subject, but your insight and ideas are being cut off from conversation when they interject before you’re done talking. Identifying a few examples before having this conversation is also helpful if the interrupter claims they do not know what you are talking about. You want to stay calm and avoid a disagreement. The reason for you speaking to them is to aid them in being aware of how their tangents and interruptions affect the team and yourself. You may also want to mention that you always wait patiently to speak only after they are done with their thought, as a sign of respect.
If the Interruption Continues, Speak with Your Boss.
Unfortunately, the interruptions by your co-worker may continue in spite of your conversation with them. If this does continue to occur, contemplate speaking with your manager or boss about the situation. Inform them that there have been times when your thoughts and ideas cannot be heard due to consistent interruptions. Make sure to mention that you’ve spoken to your co-workers one-on-one about their tendency to interrupt, which has not made any difference. Then you want to stop talking and practice active listening, even if there is an awkward silence. Give your boss or manager a moment to collect their thoughts because they probably were not anticipating hearing about this problem. Be open to any advice and suggestions they have and avoid sounding negative.
Fly High Coaching can help you soar to your full potential and find your dream job! We offer executive & professional development coach services, interview preparation, and resume makeovers to support your success. Contact us today to get started with our expert career coaches. Check out our Land Your Dream Job 101 course for more information on how you can elevate into a new position.
Latest posts by Porschia Parker-Griffin (see all)
- Active Listening Skills: How To Work With Someone Who Interrupts - September 8, 2021
- Stuck In A Bad Job? 7 Positive Lessons You Can Learn From Your Current Position - August 27, 2021
- How To Stop Being Toxic! 5 Tips To Creating A Better Work Environment - August 19, 2021