The Seemingly Helpful Communication Habit That’s Actually Just Annoying

The author of this article began with a meeting, where her boss informed her of a bad communication habit: she had the tendency to finish other people’s sentences. The author tells us that although she was actively engaged in the conversation and was trying to demonstrate that, she instead came off as if she wasn’t allowing the other person to speak. She began a practice of trying to wait longer before her time to speak until it was evident that it was her turn, telling us that it seemed to be working effectively. She passed the advice along to the readers who struggle with the same communication barrier.

Key Takeaways:

  • Communication etiquette in the professional realm is very similar to personal one in some aspects.
  • Finishing ones sentences, while well intended, devalues the other persons opinion or ideas and can lead to miscommunications.
  • waiting 3 seconds before you speak gives the other person a chance to finish their thought and makes you look like a more attentive listener.

“I would consciously stay quiet until that person had finished his or her sentence, and then wait for another second or two to ensure he or she wasn’t going to jump in with anything else.”

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