Well, these past few days had many interruptions due to the Papal Visit. And, those interruptions might have been worthwhile-such as, a break from your regular traffic route because you decided to watch the Pope a little longer. That type of interruption was welcoming-We have had our days and routines interrupted time to time. But, is it just me, or do I feel like conversations are being interrupted more often these days?
- We can comprehend and listen at the rate of 600 words per minute?
- On the average, we speak at the rate of 125-150 words per minute. (No wonder, at an auction all we have to do to respond is raise our hand-did I just interrupt my blog?)
The fact that our society has encouraged a lifestyle that not only makes our minds work at a faster rate, but makes other things happening around us work as fast. This means that our minds are working faster when listening to others. (www.lauraleerose.com) No wonder it’s a struggle to keep on topic.
Have interruptions become such a trend that they are now a natural part of conversation? There are times we don’t realize we are interrupting. Let’s take a step back and name the reasons why we interrupt:
- We need help.
- We need attention.
- We are bored with the current conversation.
- We are wasting our time.
- We want to change the topic, for some other reason.
- We are arrogant.( Trump – are you reading this?)
Mother, May I wants to help you improve yourself professionally and personally, we believe that interruptions whether intentional or not can be controlled.
If you don’t want someone to interrupt you, then practice the following in conversation:
- Spell out your intentions up front – For example, “Thanks for meeting with me this morning. I’m not sure how to handle this sticky situation at work. Here is what happened-and I value your opinion/advice.”
- Your time is valuable – Find what works for you in regards to answering the phone and replying to emails. Interruptions happen while other interruptions are ongoing. Communicating with others about your available time will help others respect your time, and not interrupt you.
- Give advice when asked – Unsolicited advice is rarely appreciated. If there is something you want to discuss and it is off-topic, do not interrupt, wait and find a better time to offer advice.
Watching and listening to pieces of the Popes recent visit was enticing. It was refreshing to stop, pause, listen and reflect on the media coverage, and mainly, listen to the Pope. Did you notice his deliberate moments of silence? Thousands upon thousands experienced the bliss of silence and reflection during the Pope’s visit. Regular conversation with a person like the Pope will likely never happen. And, if you or I ever had the chance to talk with him, the idea of interrupting him is unfathomable.
So, chances are we won’t have the pleasure of talking with the Pope, yet we can all improve our communication.
Next time you have a conversation with anyone, your parent, a friend, a colleague, try to slow it down a bit. Pay attention to what they say, and don’t be afraid to ponder your answer and pause, before developing a response. You may be able to improve your response and answer the question better. Also, listening more closely will make the conversation more enjoyable and enriching for both parties involved.
If you would like to learn more about communication, and take a look at how it reflects on yourself in the your profession, listen to our latest podcast. We will be sharing it on our social media platforms on Monday, next week on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Listen to Mother, May I with Emery Mulling of Mulling At Work, a segment on Talk of the Town 1160 Radio, and listen to us chat about How to Improve Professionalism in the Modern (often interrupted) Workplace.
Demetria and Lisa
Co-Founders Mother, May I