This week’s blog post is authored by Abby Watters, one of our newest Humanergists.

Do you remember the famous knock knock joke about the interrupting cow? If your memory fails you, it goes a little something like this:

“Knock knock…”
“Who’s there?”
“Interrupting cow”
“Interrupting cow wh…?” (other person moos before you can finish)

We all know someone with the habit of being the interrupting cow, or maybe you are guilty of it as well. Whether out of excitement or disrespect for the speaker, interrupting others is always rude and never appreciated by the person holding the floor.

I’m guilty of interrupting and you may be, too! My mission is to put an end to* the interrupting cow and give you some tips on how to zip those lips! Not only will this lead to more productive conversations, but you may be able to reclaim the relationships damaged by your bad habit.

Keep your mouth shut! I know it sounds harsh, but how can you listen if you keep yacking? Give the speaker your full attention and wait for your opportunity to say what you need to say. How, you ask? Read on!

Write your thoughts. Some people, myself included, interject because they feel like they will forget what they were going to say. Easy solution! Simply jot notes down during the conversation and when the other person has finished talking, share away!

Ask yourself “why?” There is a reason you feel the need to blurt out your ideas at inappropriate times. Do you feel like you need to impress others? I am going to bet that they would be even more dazzled by your ideas if you wait to share them. If you’re just super excited about your idea, focus that energy into an enthusiastic sharing when it’s your turn.

Get help. Share your bad habit with a coworker and ask them to hold you accountable. Create some sort of signal for them to use when they catch you in the act. (Keep it clean, folks!)

Unfortunately for you, I am not a magician, so these tips won’t make that pesky inner interrupting cow go away in a flash. As my fellow Humanergist Michelle likes to say, Rinse and Repeat! Repetition will help make these new behaviors a habit. Soon you’ll say farewell to The Interrupting Cow and hello to productive conversations.

*No cows were harmed in the writing of this blog.

Want to become the consummate communicating cow…uh, person? Contact us!
Photo from Dollar Photo Club