Make sure people listen to you

Do employees or co-workers regularly interrupt you or do other tasks, such as look at their phones, as you speak? Use these phrases to put an end to the rude behavior:

Grab and keep their attention. For example, “This is important. I’d like your undivided attention until I’ve finished my comments.” You should also explain why your remarks are important to them.

Address people who are multi-tasking. If someone is looking at their phone or PC, having side conversations or doing something other than listening, say “I’ll wait until you finish.” Then stand there in silence. Most people will put away whatever they’re doing and focus on you.

Prevent interruptions. Say, “I’m going to lay out my plan/idea/proposal first. When I’m done, I’ll answer your questions.” Then move forward.

Respond to an interrupter. If someone does interrupt you, say “I’ll be happy to listen to your comments when I’m finished,” and continue.

— Adapted from “Ensure That Employees Listen When You Speak,” Kevin Eikenberry, Bud to Boss Blog,