Handling The Interruption: Listen And Respond - Deepstash

Handling The Interruption: Listen And Respond

  • Understand why your peer has interrupted you, and it has a different agenda, like changing the topic or to get you to stop, you can make direct eye contact with the interrupter and speak up.
  • You can say you need to finish your point on this important topic so that everyone is informed.
  • If the objective of the interruption was to criticize you, you can say that any feedback is welcome after you have shared your perspective.
  • If a senior has interrupted you during the meeting, wait for it to end and go for a one-on-one to clear the matter.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THEARTICLE

  • Work cultures often encourage healthy debates and disagreements, so it is important to be aware of your company's existing culture.
  • Do not get hung up on something normal for others.
  • Before you interrupt, simply asking if you can interrupt what the other person is saying, can work wonders.

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Responding To Interruptions: Check Your Status

In a corporate setting, every meeting can be a competition for resources, recognition or rewards.

If a senior interrupts you, it would not be counted against you, but it is a peer who has interrupted you to dominate and boost their own presence, it can negatively impact your status.

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In case of serial interruptions, it can be difficult to keep your composure, but do not get rattled. If a peer is interrupting you continuously, try to focus on your message and resume talking after taking a deep breath.

If things start to become awkward, reach out to the person after the meeting and clarify yourself, and let it be known to them how their interrupting you made you feel. Seek feedback if required.

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  • How we interrupt matters and using the word ‘but’ is often the problem. Our brains only take a fraction of a second to process the meaning of a word and be offended by a wrongly perceived one.
  • Use the word ‘and’ or say that you would like to add something to what is being said, to sound collaborative and not frame the other's statement as invalid.

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Let Me Interrupt You

Research shows that even the best listeners of the world, professional listeners like teachers, therapists, counsellors, coaches, listen only for about 11 seconds at a time.

Humans expect and even crave for people who will not interrupt them, and listen to them attentively when they speak, no matter how long they speak. Humans long for undivided attention from the other person, but it is hard to find anyone who will not interrupt a person speaking, or will be a gentle, active and patient listener.

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Interruptions : 
A $588 Billion/Year Loss (only in U.S.)

A task that's interrupted can 

  • Take 50% longer
  • Have 50% more mistakes

Even though, getting into the focused state takes a while but once we are in it, the productive flow is really enjoyable & fulfilling! 

DID YOU KNOW?!?

* A "Got a minute?" (or interruption), on average takes 23 mins. to get back to the original task & another 30 mins. to return to the fully productive flow state.

* Frequent task switching also known to significantly increase stress levels (vs. single handling).
* According to Basex Research, interruptions costs the U.S. Economy $588 Billion a year in lost productivity!

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In The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains , Nicholas Carr explains how our brain, through neuroplasticity, adapts in response to changes in our environment, like technology innovations, which means we gain and lose certain skills. Social media, email, and team communications tools stimulate our very human desire to want to connect with people and access novel information but diminish the focus and processing skills that our literacy culture of books and newspapers built up. As Carr writes :

“[E]ach interruption brings us a valuable piece of information… And so we ask the Internet to keep interrupting us, in ever more and different ways. We willingly accept the loss of concentration and focus, the division of our attention and the fragmentation of our thoughts, in return for the wealth of compelling or at least diverting information we receive.”

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