I am experiencing difficulties in conveying my message when debating topics (mostly office-related issues) due to interruption by others. My nature is such that I carefully listen when others talk and wait for them to stop, but due to this nature, I am facing problems - even when logically I am in a strong position.

In discussions, people around me just keep talking nonstop and if I try to interrupt them by sharing my views or by asking questions, still they continue to talk. It is difficult for me to behave in same manner.

The issue is that people around me focus on that person's views when I interrupt him or when he interrupts me. I am wondering what could be the reason. Is it due to my voice being quieter than others? Is it because I speak slowly as compared to others so they get the chance to interrupt me? Et cetera.

4 Answers 4



This little video was created by a man named Dave Wood from Canada.

I would dig deeper into this issue as something more sophisticated than a communication issue. This is more of a teaming issue, sounds like, and the way various personalities mix and work together and your communication issues are symptoms, likely among others. This video so happens to focus on MBTI and the findings of MBTI work traits are very compelling. There are others, as well, like DiSC.

The learning to take away from this is to find out how your personality make-up works within a team, look out how others are relating to you, and then find ways to overcome the inherent weaknesses of each personality trait. In the process of teaming, these things begin to merge and gel where your complaint is either erradicated or minimized quite well.

Many organizations pursue this where they hire a qualified tester to come in, measure everyone, then teach what the results mean and how to overcome challenges. Maybe you can propose something like this to your chain of command.

What you describe makes you sound like an introvert and you are dealing with extraverts. (Caveat this that I just arrived at a conclusion from a short few lines and I am not qualified to make personality assessments in any way!! :))

  • 1
    I second this. I am very familiar with the DISC model. Manager-Tools.com has over 30 podcasts on practical use of DISC in team communications. Jul 1, 2012 at 5:06

I can only second what David has said. Remember, only about 25% of the world communicates the same way you do.

To sum up the issue I think you are having I would point to a great quote my Mark Horstman, of Manager Tools. He uses this quote to sum of Peter Druker's Communication Chapter in his management book.

"Communication is what the listener does."

I am very familiar with the DISC model. I learned of it through Manager-Tools.com which has over 30 podcasts on practical use of DISC in team communications.

To put a personal perspective on this. DISC literally got me the job. I was out of work in 2009/10. I got an interview for a company in an industry I had zero experience in, so I knew I was already at a big disadvantage. When I recieved the list of interviewers I hit the web and researched each person (mostly LinkedIn). I was able to develop a solid guess at each person's DISC profile.

At the interview I used the Manager Tools guidance for how to introduce to each DISC style. Of the five people, I nailed four of them 100% and the last I was able to quickly adjust my style. I then used my understanding of DISC during the interviews to tailor my communication in a way that best matched the person I was speaking with.

I got the job. Every person who interviewed me gave a thumbs up glowing review. My boss hired me without any industry knowledge because he saw I had the ability to communicate and work across the entire organization.

Communication is what the listener does.


Let me quote PMBOK v.4, page 255:

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As you see, "the sender is responsible for making the information clear and complete so that the receiver can receive it correctly". You fail this task, since you know that your receivers are not patient/educated/polite enough to listen to you.

I would suggest to use a different type of "encoding". Instead of verbal communication use something different, for example texts, graphs, presentations, etc. "Encode" your messages in a different way.


I know what you mean, passionate people (especially developers) can be very assertive in meetings.

What you have to do is try and shift the power balance. Ask yourself 'why am I in this meeting?' 'who is the decision maker?' and 'what am I trying to achieve?'

You may find it productive to say less and frown more. a few 'Hmmms' and frowns may prompt someone to ask your opinion. A talkative speaker will often stop if they find they are getting no feed back at all. A short expression of worry about an idea may lead to being asked to elaborate.

If you are able to remain silent through the entire meeting with no-one asking for your input, then you have to question why you attended in the first place. Are you giving tacit approval to the outcome of the meeting by attending?

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