Tell me.  Have you seen this happen?

A parent and their child are having a conversation with another adult.  The other adult asks the child, “How old are you?”.  Before the child has a chance to answer the parent says, “She is six”. 

A parent is in a group with their pre-teen.  One person asks the pre-teen, “What kinds of activities do you do outside of school?”  The parent answers, “Oh, she does soccer, golf, and karate!”.

A family is in a restaurant and before the wait-staff comes to take the order they have a “what are you going to order?” conversation.  The wait-staff comes and asks, “What can I get for you?”.  One party at the table says, “They will have the cheeseburger with a side of fries.  I will have the turkey burger with a side salad”.  The other party had just changed their mind though and they give that person a look.

You are in a meeting with a colleague.  Someone asks you a direct question.  Four people at the table answer the question for you.

You receive an email in your inbox asking you a direct question.  Ten people are on copy. Within 15 minutes ten people reply.  Some of the answers are incorrect.  A very long email trail follows which results in a meeting being scheduled.

You are in a meeting about a long email thread.  The facilitator asks someone a direct question and ten people all speak up again.  It takes a few minutes for people to stop interrupting each other in order to get the answer from the one person.

Hey!  Don’t be that person.  Let others speak for themselves.  If you have input after that it will be so much easier to have a respectful conversation and the person being asked will respect you more for it.

The key to your success is the PAUSE.

When someone asks a question – PAUSE and consider if the question was for you before you answer.

When you see an email and are tempted to respond, PAUSE and double check who the email was addressed to.

When you are in a meeting and a question comes up, PAUSE. If the question was for someone else, stay quiet and let them answer. If it was a general question for the whole group – and if you tend to be the one to speak up first – PAUSE and let others do the talking.

If you see someone else who is speaking for others, PAUSE, and consider how and when you can provide them with feedback about letting others speak for themselves. Feel free to share this article too.

Career coaching to create
Confidence, Performance, Connection. Schedule Now