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Listen or bust

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in Workplace Communication

You can barely restrain yourself. You want to talk but there’s no opening. A boss is holding court, so you had better listen.

Here’s how to stay tuned when you’re anxious to say something:

Jot one-word notes. If an idea pops to mind and you don’t want to forget it, write a reminder. Choose a word or phrase that represents your point. Then write it down while maintaining eye contact with the speaker.

Bunch your remarks. Fighting the urge to interrupt can prove hard to resist. But it helps if you tell yourself, “I’ll wait until I can state my top three observations at once.”

Keep quiet. In your eagerness to talk, you may listen “loudly” by injecting lots of monosyllabic fillers (“yes,” “uh-huh”) and nodding vigorously. It’s better to sit still, say nothing and wait. Speakers usually wrap up sooner if you listen in silence.

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