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(For variety against yesterday’s post this is a live version of “Hush” from the Reading Festival 1996)


Yesterday I wrote about a very personal story where I learnt that interrupting someone during a negotiation was almost a cardinal sin – you never know what they might say next!


As I’ve thought about that post, I’ve realised that not interrupting goes much further than negotiations.


To begin I should declare my interests on this post. I class myself as a strong introvert so not interrupting people and not being interrupted are a fundamental belief I hold.


Taking the time to allow someone to finish their sentence is a good habit I think more people should practice. How many times have you been in mid-flow when someone has stopped you, finished your sentence and gone completely in another direction?


How did it make you feel?


For me this shows a lack of respect for the person speaking.


Are you the kind of person who is simply waiting for your friend or colleague to get somewhere near the end of what they are saying but unintentionally help them by diving in with your own thoughts? Here are a few tips to help you to hush:


  1. Try listening. Rather than waiting for your turn to speak, pay attention to what the other person is saying and not just the assumptions you make after hearing their first few words. It might be difficult to break the habit at first but the more you practice, the better you will get.


  1. Make notes. If you are desperate to interrupt because you have something to say on that point, make a note and bring the conversation back to that point when the other person is finished. It will show you’ve been paying attention and make the other person feel valued that they have been able to express themselves fully.


  1. Call yourself out. I bet within a nano-second of interrupting someone, you realise what you’ve done. Rather than carrying on, stop yourself, apologise by calling yourself out and allow the other person to finish. I think you’ll be amazed by how many times you do this but by making yourself truly aware you can then take the other steps towards stopping the habit.


If you want to show people you care about what they are saying and by an extension of that, who they are – hush!


This post is part of my 60 day blog challenge.