Every work place has different kinds of people. Some colleagues are noisy, some are lazy, some are enthusiastic. And most workplaces have a colleague who is so eager to contribute to a discussion, that they constantly interrupt others while they are talking. Probably, they are in a hurry to take the credit for an idea, or in the rush to prove their point. Whatever, may be the case, it can get annoying if it happens every day.
Image Credit: TV Series – The Office
Effectively dealing when someone keeps interrupting you can be a bit of a slippery slope. And, as with most things, the best way to handle it can vary based on the individual situation. But here are some things you can do to politely deal with a colleague who impolitely keeps interrupting you.
Sometimes Doing Nothing Works
Sometimes, the best thing you can do when faced with an interruption is nothing at all. You best course of action might be to just take a deep breath and let it go. This works particularly when you don’t have to work with the person regularly. There are some people who jump in simply because they are incredibly engaged in and excited about what you are saying and want to show that they are actively involved in the conversation.
Outline The Rules Before The Discussion
If you are going to speak at a meeting or give a presentation, and you know that person is going to be present, you can begin by requesting everyone to interrupt or raise doubts when you have finished, as it would interrupt your flow of words. This sets the tone right from the get-go that you are aiming to share your ideas free of interruptions.
Sometimes it is better to set rules like taking turns to put in your suggestions. Once their turn is over, they may let you speak without interruption. Drishti Shah, Senior Accountant at Rishma Angencies, says, “I patiently hear all that they have to say. In fact, I probe them to give more inputs. This way they won’t feel as if they are not being heard. Most people who interrupt do so because they feel nobody is listening to them. If you let them go on once to finish what they have to say, they may not feel inferior again, and stop interrupting you. Also you can remind them that they have had their say, and now it is your time to speak.”
Continue As It Were
Unfortunately, there are those people out there who will completely disregard your wishes and continue to chime in and cut you off. At such times, you can refuse to pause for interruptions, and instead continue with what you are saying. If needed, you can even pause for a second to address the interrupter and say, “one moment,” and then finish off your thought.
Confront The Person
And sometimes, if it happens just too often to the end of your patience, you might have to confront the person directly. You will need to be firm and direct to get your point across. But, just because you need to be blunt does not mean you cannot be polite.
Dealing with someone who keeps cutting you off mid-sentence is never easy. But you can use these approaches to deal with such a person, and get your ideas and thoughts across without interruptions.