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Cure yourself of ‘interruptitis’

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in Workplace Communication

You may know exactly what Sam is about to say, so you’re impatient because it’s taking him so long. But that’s no excuse for interrupting him. Besides, people who speak slowly will slow things down even more if you interrupt them.

Break the habit by:

  • Matching others’ pace. Fast talkers should slow down when talking to a slow Sam. Slow talkers should speed up when talking with a fast Frieda.
  • Using a “silence cushion”—mentally count to three—to make sure others have finished before you start talking.
  • Asking a co-worker to signal you when he or she feels you’re interrupting others. Try it for one week.
  • Acknowledging and immediately apologizing when you’ve interrupted someone. Example: “I interrupted you, and I’m sorry. Please continue.”

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