Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Do you interrupt when you don't "get it"?

Do you interrupt when you don't "get it"?

Ever been in a meeting where someone used some jargon where you had no idea what they were saying?

When it's a topic you don't know well, or one you feel you SHOULD know well, sometimes it may feel more uncomfortable to say anything. You probably want to say something, you get anxious, but you let it go. Maybe it snowballs because the topic or phrase or idea comes up again and now it's even harder to interrupt.

It doesn't have to be that way.

Many times if you don't "get it", there is someone else in the room who may not either. Sometimes, surprisingly, that may be someone more experienced. Or it may be the "newbie" but they'll love you for it.

It models the behavior for everyone else. People feel empowered when they feel like they can ask "dumb questions" (which really aren't dumb) and group trust can increase.

Communicating "I am not following" or "I did not understand that" may feel like admitting a vulnerability, but that admitting can be a sign of strength, a sign of leadership, and make your meeting more productive for everyone.

One last point. Consider THANKING your colleagues when they do the same to you, letting you know they don't "get" something you have said. Reinforce the positive team behavior.

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