I wouldn’t give one to a stranger, but I’d gladly get one from a friend.
I ask clients and colleagues to interrupt me if I’m going on too long, and I’ve teamed with colleagues to interrupt each other* if one of us is hogging the floor, talking at our clients instead of conversing with them.
Facts to remember:
- Other people need to speak.
- We need to listen.
- Bite-sized statements are easier to digest (and easier redirect if they’re on the wrong track).
- Not everything needs to be said right now, if at all.
“Stop talking” is a welcome interruption when requested in advance.
*It helps to use nicer words than “stop talking” or “STFU”. ☺
Write your email then wait 5 minutes before you click SEND.
You may discover:
- It needs an edit.
- You forgot an attachment.
- You’ve answered your own question (that you were about to ask via email).
- It’s none of your business (delete the draft!)
- You don’t have time for this conversation (or the thing you were about to promise!)
- While you were waiting, somebody else took care of whatever needed to get done.
If it’s a group email, wait TEN minutes, not five!
Meeting at a restaurant?
Face away from distractions:
other tables, the windows,
the bar TV.
Be the guy on the right, focused on his lunch mates. Not the guy on the left, staring at the steak.
Eat a snack before the meal so you won’t focus too much on the food.
Photo credit: Phillip Capper, used under Creative Commons license.