I observe this mistake being made by highly intelligent people who are eager to share “the answer” to a technical problem. While a customer, supervisor, or peer is speaking some technical people will interrupt the person speaking.
Eagerness to solve an issue can sometimes cause a person to forget their manners, but an IT professional must be ever vigilant against interrupting another person because:
- It is rude, and rude people are not remembered for their answers. Rude people are remembered unfavorably despite having answers.
- The person who interrupts others is demonstrating the he or she acts before having all of the information that is readily available to him or her. How reliable can their answers be?
- It is easier to master technology than it is to master communication, and a person with good technical skills and poor communication skills is not nearly as valuable as a person with poor technical skills and good communication skills.
I have made this mistake many times in the past, but once I began to focus on improving my communication skills I realized that interrupting others was harming my career more than having the right answers was helping my career. Do not make this same mistake, and if you do have the bad habit of interrupting others become aware of it and stop it. I now tell myself when I have the urge to interrupt someone else that “If I wait just a little while longer, I will have an even better answer to offer!”
Sometimes it is not your technical skill that you will be remembered for. Do not interrupt your career’s development with your own bad habits.