If you had to identify the most annoying communication habit ever, what would it be? Admittedly there are a lot of contenders, but most of us agree that being interrupted is among the most irritating. Today, you’re going to examine how often you interrupt other people, and then work on giving your conversation partners the time and space they deserve. Interrupting people is easy to do. For example, if you participate in a heated discussion, you might want to jump right in to exert your voice. If you’re passionate about an idea, your enthusiasm might bubble to the surface.
Set targets and give yourself rewards
Set a realistic goal and choose a small reward as a suitable incentive. For example, you could promise yourself that if you make it through the day interrupting people fewer than ten times, you will pick up your favorite magazine or candy bar on the way home.
Stick up signs
The simplest solutions can be the best! I keep a small sticky note on my computer monitor to remind me not to interrupt others. It features a sketch of a closed mouth just beneath an ear. I glance at it when I’m on the phone or webcam. It reminds me that if I strive to grow my relationships – and my business – I need to let other people speak.
Practice biting your tongue
The phrase “bite your tongue” can be taken literally here. When you feel the urge to interrupt, sandwich your tongue between your teeth. The sensation will act as a constant reminder not to butt in.