Interruptions are probably the most hated problem in the field of communication. It is very easy for anyone to slip into the habit of interrupting others. In some people it is such an ingrained habit that they will not even know that they are interrupting someone. I have been one of them and thankfully with practice, I have been able to overcome this problem.
The habit of interrupting can be caused by two different reasons or intentions.
1. The person is genuinely interested in making sure you get all the information that you may need. True, they exude the know-it-all and sometimes, they do! They may know-it-all. This type is also called as walking dictionaries.
2. The other one is the type who feels they are better than you and always want to prove it to others as well so they don't miss even one opportunity to show off their 'gift' and look down upon others.
Now that we have found the necessary difference and are resolved to handle this problem, why not do it in a way that makes the best use of this behavior?
First thing to know is to hate the attitude, not the person.
Some of the walking dictionary types are crazy but also a genius. They can come up with crazy ideas. Often, they are very erratic and creative. Their thought processes are non linear and from what I have seen, all major businessmen have one such person around because they can think differently than the rest. They can give a perspective which others can't. But then, not all interrupters fall into this category.
I will try to outline some of the ways in which this particular behavior can be handled.
Important: Use situational judgment before using any of these techniques.
1. Recognize this behavior in yourself.
Interruptions happen not just in talking but also to our thoughts and actions.Verbal interruptions are easy to realize. If you want to solve the core problem, try and realize all the different areas of life where you get interrupted by yourself. Some are good and some are not so good.
2. Realize the purpose of Interruptions.
Interruptions are like messengers, they have a purpose and the message. Once you recognize at least three different areas in your own life where you suffer from unnecessary interruptions, begin to look for the possible reasons for these interruptions. Most of them originate from the depths of the powerful and protective unconscious mind.
Always respect these signals. The more you respect your unconscious, the more it will be helpful to you. In many situations, Interruptions may be indicative or metaphorical in its message. The meaning will dawn to you in due course.
If you hate it, suppress it or get anxious over it, you are indicating distrust towards your unconscious.
3. You find yourself interrupting others while they talk.
The behavior of interrupting others can be due to the two reasons that I mentioned earlier one. There is one more factor to consider, your ego. The best way to solve this is to just laugh at your ego's attempt for attention. Just laugh at it internally and thank it for the message. Make a note of the message and deliver it to the group later.
4. Dealing with others interrupting you.
Well there are different ways you can handle it depending on the situation and context. If you are in a meeting where you expect to be interrupted try this one.Use sound judgment while using this particular technique.
At the beginning of the meeting, mention that those who have something to say will have to hold their thoughts and the ones who interrupt will have to wear pink pant to office or something ridiculous. The idea is to make the person who would interrupt a little foolish and at the same time giving him a leeway to avoid it.
Interrupt -> do something stupid OR avoid
Note: Nobody likes being told that they are wrong. Use caution.
Another way is to let them know that they interrupt a lot and they can find a solution to their problem by coming to my site and reading the page on Interruptions. You can even print this page and give it to them if you want. Simple isn't it?
You are achieving two objectives. You are telling them that you know that they are interrupting too often. That you care about them and you are willing to help. The least of all, you, will give me new visitors and encourage me to write more.
The useful way of using interruptions:
Admit it, we all have it. Interrupting is a natural thing. Once you accept it, move on to the next phase of how to harness the power of interruptions.
About the Author: Sri Hari has been developing new insights in the field of communication skills helping thousands break the mould and enjoy a happier life. Get a taste of his unique perspective at his website http://www.communication-skills-4confidence.com/ŠSriHari2005 All Rights reserved.