Years ago, after a dinner party, my spouse brought to my attention that I’d been interrupting people all night. This was news to me and totally mortifying. I thought I was making great conversation. But I was actually being totally rude. How socially clueless was I? I vowed to fix my interruption habit forever.
Moving forward, I spent the next years overcorrecting. Today, I rarely interrupt anyone. Many experts say, never interrupting is the key to charisma.
However, I’ve found that in certain situations, interruption is necessary. Specifically, when you’re a leader.
For example, sometimes one person in a group will go off on a tangent. It’s your job as the leader to bring the focus back. In this way, interrupting brings the most value to the group.
So yesterday, at my meetup I practiced interrupting. But I only interrupted in order to aid the group. Never to hear myself speak. That’s key.
I found we were able to answer questions faster when I cut certain people off. Nobody seemed to mind. And we had a particularly good group with lots of fun and laughter.
If you need to interrupt someone it’s probably because they talk a lot. So they’re probably use to being interrupted. I still like to avoid interruption for the most part. But I think it has a place if it’s brings value.