How to deal with being interrupted in meetings

Twenty Ten Talent - How to deal with being interrupted in meetings

It’s not okay, but sadly it happens, even to senators. Not only was she interrupted, twice, during hearings on Capitol Hill, Kamala Harris was the only senator to be interrupted and reprimanded during the session.

Research backs it up, women are interrupted more than men and when it comes to meetings, men speak significantly more than women do. Women are even creating apps to track it….

So what should you do, when you’re in a meeting and you’re suddenly cut off in the middle of explaining something important?

First things first, keep your cool but don’t be derailed. If you haven’t finished making your point, make sure you do.

Being assertive doesn’t mean you have to mirror bad behavior by deliberately cutting someone off. But don’t apologize for making sure you have a chance to be heard.

If you need to, use your body language to make your interrupter directly aware that you’re not finished. Eye contact is as direct as it gets. Lean forwards. Make your presence visible. Did you notice Senator Harris even resorted to a hair flip?

If the interruptions keep on coming be direct. Speak up and tell the interrupter “you’d love to finish the point you were making” and then keep talking.

Don’t forget, if you bear witness to a colleague interrupting someone else, you can also speak up and invite the person who was cut off to conclude what they wanted to say.

The bottom line is this, don’t let a constant interrupter get away with it.


Post by Octavia Goredema @OctaviaGoredema

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