Interrupt This Conversation
March 27, 2012
Ever notice the conversation between two people? In most cases, they will interrupt each other frequently. Often, it's to agree or to encourage them to continue. Yet many times, it's to interject an opposing idea, or to change the conversation entirely.
When you interrupt, the person you're speaking with can feel you're not interested in what they have to say, and it will make them weary of your true intention.
Have you ever interrupted someone to finish that person's thought? Have you ever had someone do this to you?
I have heard so many people on the radio throughout the years who never allow a person to get a word into the conversation. Then, there are other personalities, who are amazing at just taking the time to listen, allowing the other person to talk about their own experiences which are very interesting and compelling.
Larry King and Barbara Walters are some of the best interviewers of all time because they know how to ask the right questions, get to the point, and then sit back and just listen. Have you ever seen a Larry King or Barbara Walters interview when they didn't seem curious, interested, and tuned into the guest?
Many people can also be guilty of trying to always fill up space when talking with anyone. The constant "yeah" or "right" or "uh huh" or simply saying something can make a five-minute conversation seem like a daylong ordeal.
Relax, listen and don't feel like every second has to have a response from you.
It's okay to have some silence and let the thoughts sit for a moment before responding; in fact, some of the best communicators know how to use this effect to their advantage and it keeps people very tuned into what they may say next. My great friend and legendary voice talent Nick Michaels says, "Sometimes silence or a whisper can impact the moment more than anything else."
Don't always be thinking of what you're going to say. Let the conversation guide you instead of the other way around.
A writer friend of mine said she switched from taking notes during phone interviews to recording and just jotting down key points as she talked with the interview subject. "I was missing so much of the conversation. When I reviewed my notes, I would almost always realize that a point the speaker had made begged at least one more question that I hadn't asked. It was because I wasn't listening actively."
Once she began recording, she says her interviews became much more fruitful. "Because my mind was on what they were saying and not on what they'd said two sentences ago, I was able to relax and really listen. It made for much more in-depth, interesting conversations."
Now think about this with your social media pages and accounts. Are you just posting, talking and sharing from a one-sided direction? Or, do you really listen first, absorb and then respond based on what you are hearing?
It's the difference between just being on or really being alive in the space. One gets you there to fulfill a task ... the other builds anticipation so others will start listening to you more closely too.