To interrupt or not to interrupt, that is the decision

Whenever I have been in a meeting, there will always be interruptions. Either I will interrupt someone or someone will interrupt me or somebody will interrupt someone else. I always felt interrupting someone is rude., but after working in a corporation where everyone schedules 30 minute meetings in which 60 things need to get done, it is a risk if someone talks for 15 minutes in a 30 minute meeting. In the interest of the greater good, that person has to be interrupted in the 5th minute if the agenda needs to be covered.

So what do we do? Interrupt or not interrupt ? Here is what I have started doing : I start our meetings by saying "W are going to offer each other the right to respectfully interrupt each other, not because we are arrogant or do not want to listen but because we have stuff to get through. Also the interruptee can interrupt the interrupter in return if the interruptee thinks it is important enough to do so"

(Funnily enough when I do say this I find people speak less! Problem solved)

ps : I have worked with people like Chhaya Sinha who when they are interrupted will just go silent and listen and will never ever interrupt anyone when they are speaking. My best friend, who also happens to be my husband, Dominic White does that too. It is a graceful way to be!

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