Start Interrupting. Now.

Photo - Workplace Communication.jpg

If you’re a woman in the workplace, here’s a tip for getting heard in meetings and on conference and video calls:

Interrupt.

Men do it all the time and for them, it’s okay. They don’t take offense and don’t give it a second thought. It's just how they relate to each other.

Don't believe me? Take a few minutes to watch men in conversation. If they have something to say, they say it. Period. And nobody walks away teary-eyed.

As women, things work differently for us. We talk when the other person stops. (Well, I don't. Not always. I get excited and start rattling off. Then I apologize for interrupting. Note to self:  Stop interrupting.)

Also, women don’t interrupt because most of us were taught that it's rude or inconsiderate. Our mothers told us to be polite and "don't be bossy," even when we have something valuable to contribute to the conversation.

For women, what works well in our personal lives may not be the best strategy if we want to be heard at our places of employment. 

How to Interrupt at Work

Here are three suggestions for women about interrupting when you want to contribute to the conversation at work:

1. Dive in. My wonderful female counterparts, why are you waiting for an invitation? Just dive in and speak your truth. Men do it, and they expect that from others.

2. Be steady. Remember, you're smart and you know what you're talking about. Keep a steady pace and voice level—don't let your voice go up at the end. You want to make a statement, not ask a question.      

3. Start talking. When your colleague has made his point, start talking and don’t worry about cutting him off. If he has more to say, he’ll be interrupting you in just a matter of moments.

I realize speaking up at work isn't an issue for every woman. But for those of you who are tentative about it, why not give it a try? What have  you got to lose? Interrupting at work in a professional, respectful way can get you noticed and even help you get ahead. Let me know how it goes on my Facebook page.

Be #True, and have a Refreshing and Productive Day!