It’s little wonder that some people choose to send an email instead of trying to hold a conversation. After all, people often are looking at their computers or smartphones when you try to speak with them. Or worse, they interrupt you before you can finish a thought.
Both behaviors are rude, so make sure that you are giving your employees your undivided attention when they stop by to talk to you, and always let people finish speaking before you talk.
Now, if you want to ensure that you receive another person’s undivided attention, you might just have to ask for it. Here are some phrases you can use:
- “This is important.”
- “I’d like your undivided attention.”
- “I’ll wait until you finish that.”
Or you can simply pause until the person turns his or her attention back to you. Then hold your listener’s attention by explaining why your remarks are important to him or her and by being brief.
If you find that your biggest problem is that people interrupt you or talk over you, help prevent that by assuring people that they will have an opportunity to speak after you finish. Example: “I’m going to outline the new procedures, and then I’ll answer your questions.”
If someone does interrupt, take back control of the conversation. For example, you can say “I’ll be happy to listen to you after I make this final point.”
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