How to manage the ‘interrupter’

I’ve heard so many people struggle with people who interrupt. Not only does it trigger you. It could also send you into a nervous spin. You have finally plucked up the courage to do that presentation, or have that conversation and then, BOOM! The interrupter rears their head. Or their mouth I should say.

Why do people interrupt I hear you ask. It could be they feel the need to defend themselves, or a need to win and be right. It could be pure impatience. It could be they might not want to hear what you have to say. No matter what it is though – you’ll never really know. Unless you are a god and you know what other people are thinking or feeling.

So we don’t know why they do it but we can manage ourselves and the situation. So that’s good news. Let’s make it super simple and break it down.

The before

When you know you have something important you need to say and it would be helpful for you to be able to get it all out, say that;

“Hey, I want to talk about X. I just need a couple of minutes to give you the context and then I’d love to hear your thoughts. Is that ok?”

This lets them know you need some time and space. Most people get that. But in case they don’t…

The during

If they interrupt while you are mid-stream (and you may have forgotten to ask for some time to set the scene) you can ask them to hold their thoughts for now;

“I really want to hear your perspective. I just need to share mine so you understand where I am coming from. Can you give me 1 or 2 more minutes? I’d really appreciate it”.

If they interrupt again;

“Hey, I know you are keen. Please can I finish so you can hear my perspective?”

The after

When you do get to the end of what you need to say make sure we thank them;

“Thank you so much for letting me share.”

The caveat

All of these are coated with authenticity. They are not about winning the conversation. They are about a genuine desire to share your truth and then hear theirs. After all, people hear your content and smell your intent.

PS: Want to talk about our ‘Working as One’ program? How to create high performance teams and workplaces (and give your team the tools I talked about in this blog). Just send me a direct message with “lets chat” and we’ll reach out and set up a time to talk.