A few years ago, I conducted a survey of over 250 business executives. I asked them to list behaviors on the part of listeners they found irritating. I then asked them to select the behavior they found most irritating.
The winner? Interrupting. (By a two-to-one margin over the runner up.)
Now two of my Certified Listening ProfessionalTM1 colleagues, Dr. Rick Bommelje and Dr. Manny Steil, report that interrupting can be bad for your health.
Here is the report from their "Listening Leaders Newsletter:"
Several university studies have found that people who interrupt conversations are at greater risk for heart problems.
In fact, one study at Duke University found that people who interrupt are up to seven times more likely to get heart disease!
Why is this so? The researchers theorize that people who interrupt are excessively competitive and controlling - two hallmarks of the worst "Type A" personalities.
But here is the amazing kicker: These same high-risk people can lower their risk without totally altering their personalities...and without any drugs, exercise or dietary changes.
All they have to do is practice being good listeners.
In one study, the test subjects focused on being silent while others talked.
The result? They lowered both their blood pressure and their stress hormone levels.
Listening Leader Laser Lesson: The next time you interrupt someone, consider the costs to yourself.
Copyright by International Listening Leaders Institute. Reprinted with permission from "The Listening Leaders Newsletter," a weekly internet newsletter. For your own personal subscription, go to www.ListeningLeaders.com
1Trademark of the International Listening Association (www.Listen.org)