How To Deal With The “Interrupter”

We’d all like to think that everything will always go according to plan and that everyone will always play by the rules and be accommodating to others in the group. A nice thought, but things do come up. Having a strategy ahead of time to deal with uncomfortable issues gives you the ability to move through them without causing great upset in your group.

A common issue in most groups is a member who talks a lot or interrupts others while they are speaking.  So how does the group handle this challenge? How do you handle a member who is dominating the discussion?

It’s important when you start your group to discuss this challenge.  How do you handle an interruption when someone is speaking.    If your group has a “talking stick” the holder can just hold it up and ask for the person to wait until it is passed to them. Or maybe you have a Timekeeper who insures that everyone has their chance to speak, and they can gently remind the interrupter to wait their turn.

Whatever challenge occurs in your group, how you handle it should be a group decision.

If you are brainstorming a subject, interrupting each other will occur because you want people to freely share their ideas.   Though still be aware that all people need to contribute.

Each group is different.  Some want strong structure, others want flexibility within their structure.   Whatever type your groups feels comfortable with, the most important aspect of a group is that individual members feel that are acknowledged and part of the group.   Encourage each member to share as that is how you build a solid group.

Be well,

Karen & Pat



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