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Etiquette of Interrupting Others #389568 03/08/08 09:58 PM
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Lisa LowCarb Offline OP
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We were talking in another thread about when a group of people get together to talk, how the conversation should flow. A poster was talking about situations where one person is completely ignored, or someone monopolizes the conversation, when someone interrupts.

I was always taught all three of these situations are rude, and generally the other people in the group work to remedy them. So for example if someone is being shy or excluded, the other group members deliberately engage them, draw them out and ensure they get to talk too.

If someone keeps interrupting they gently ask her to stop or say "Wait, I wanted to hear what yyyyy had to say first".

If I had a person in my group who was continually rude like this, either they would be gently talked with (if they didn't get the constant clues) or we would stop inviting them to participate.

Do you guys have issues like this in your social groups?

Last edited by Lisa Low Carb Ed; 03/08/08 09:58 PM.

Lisa Shea, Low Carb and Video Games Editor
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Re: Etiquette of Interrupting Others [Re: Lisa LowCarb] #393667 03/16/08 01:44 PM
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-Diana- Offline
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I recognize this issue from the other forum, Lisa. I'm glad you brought it up because I have a bit more to say about interrupting.

In the office environment, and particularly at meetings, I have encountered a lot of interruption. I'm not sure why this is. It could be because I am viewed as being very polite and listen well. It could also be because I am a woman who is usually in a room full of men. But regardless of the reason, it is both frustrating to me and rude of the other person.

In a work situation, it is my job to get my ideas across to others so I had to find a way to deal with it. The best way I've found is to directly confront the person, but in a polite way. It has been nearly 100% effective for me.

First, I make note when the first interruption occurs. Then I wait for the next. As soon as it occurs, I break in immediately, look at them in the eye and say something like this: "Excuse me but could you please let me finish what I'm saying?" It is said in a polite but very direct way.

The other person has always given me a turn at that time but often, they begin the interrupting again. So I must repeat the procedure, each time with more emphasis. Eventually, the interrupter can't stand the embarrassment of it and feels compelled to take turns.

Re: Etiquette of Interrupting Others [Re: -Diana-] #393961 03/17/08 04:46 AM
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Lisa LowCarb Offline OP
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That is really odd / unprofessional that people are doing this to you in a work environment. They are not treating you with respect. Just because you listen well, that is no reason to then not let you have your say. It sounds like you have found an excellent way to deal with it - but if someone is that chronic I would almost say you should bring it up casually (but privately) to your boss so that you are on record as expressing a problem with that lack of respect.

I mean, why is it so hard for them to let you have your say about a topic?


Lisa Shea, Low Carb and Video Games Editor
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Re: Etiquette of Interrupting Others [Re: Lisa LowCarb] #395112 03/19/08 12:20 AM
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-Diana- Offline
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Gee, am I surprised that you are surprised that I have been interrupted often, Lisa. Surely, it isn't only me, is it? Hmmmm....

I have suffered many sorts of office disrespect. I even had a person once tell me at a meeting I was in charge of that he didn't accept me as the leader of the project and refused to follow the guidelines I developed. It was horrifying! I decided to call the meeting to an end and complained to my boss. Fortunately, my boss supported me and that person was removed from the team. Oh, the stories I could tell...

Re: Etiquette of Interrupting Others [Re: -Diana-] #396686 03/22/08 06:09 AM
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Lisa LowCarb Offline OP
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I worked in a number of jobs as a database developer - it was during the dot com boom so I changed jobs every 6 months to a year as a new one came along and we finished the current project. So I worked on many teams. I don't remember ever being interrupted - we would each talk in turn, share ideas and build a consensus. So this was true across many teams.

I would really say if people are interrupting you that that is a sign of something underlying.

That is scary that someone "didn't accept you as leader"??? How could someone even say that in a work environment? I've never had *anything* like that happen - I would have died!


Lisa Shea, Low Carb and Video Games Editor
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Re: Etiquette of Interrupting Others [Re: Lisa LowCarb] #396994 03/23/08 12:53 AM
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I am absolutely amazed at your luck with teams. Never to be interrupted ever? In my own experience, there's always someone in an office who just doesn't want to stop talking, who uses run-on sentences without giving you a chance to interject something or who just can't wait their turn and interrupts. Could it be that engineers are more like that than developers? I would say that it is me but I've seen other people being interrupted, too, and when I see this happen, I often speak up for them.

Two other experiences stand out in my mind. One was when a manager complained to my manager during a large meeting that he should stop hiring people who were not knowledgeable enough about a particular technology. A co-worker and myself were who he was referring to and we were at the meeting! It was humiliating. Another incident was when I became the lead engineer on a project, a person under me told me with a direct stare and wagging finger that he had managed just fine without me so far and would prefer that I did not interfere with his part of the project.

I have had many good team experiences but enough bad ones to know that I can expect things like this. I have always tried to set things straight first with the offender in private and usually that is all that is required. Most people seem to be unaware that the behavior was hurtful but sometimes what they were unaware of was that I would actually complain about it. But for times that my authority was not accepted, I've had to complain and luckily I've always been supported.

Do you think it could be the nature of engineers?


Moderated by  Decorum-Is-Key Lisa 

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