How to Avoid Interruptions in Meetings

10 Oct 2017

Every meeting has a common flaw: interruption. One of the common mistakes you may face is being so eager to be in the presence of the person you’re meeting with, you feel as though you can anticipate their responses and answer them before they ask.

The following are some of the lessons I’ve learned (the hard way) about interrupting:

  1. W.A.I.T.
  2. Silence is not bad
  3. Write your thoughts

1) W.A.I.T. (or as my brother-in-law has taught me) Why Am I Talking?

To add your two cents to the conversation, you may have caught yourself adding a point that was not relevant just for the sake of being a part of the dialogue. Sometimes this addition doesn’t add any substance to the discussion and interrupts a significant train of thought. Instead of speaking out, W.A.I.T. and consider if what you have to say is really adding to the meeting or if it’s just you blurting out how sunny it is outside.

2) Silence is not bad

Although sometimes a five second pause may seem like five hours, silence is not always bad. After knowing how to read different personalities, it will be easier to spot when a customer is marinating on a thought. Again, interrupting about the weather is still not relevant.

3) Write your thoughts

The prospect/customer is excited about what you have to offer and goes on and on about their problems. Beautiful!

Do you have all the answers in the world? Yes? Perfect (no you still shouldn’t interrupt).

Write down any questions they have and bring them up after they’ve finished their point. Interrupting the potential customer may cause you to miss important points.

Interrupting is a bad habit and may show whoever you’re speaking with that you’re not listening. This has been a key lesson for me in my two years at AOS. Try these suggestions out and let me know what you think.

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