Posted by: kerrywills | October 8, 2010

Let Me Finish

The other day I walked passed someone on the phone who was clearly on a conference and who shouted out “let me finish” to someone. This reminded me that this was one of my least favorite moves of business etiquette. In meetings, people always get passionate around topics and sometimes (ok, oftentimes) interrupt talk over one another. At least everyone is on the same playing field in terms of speaking and interrupting.

Once someone pulls the “let me finish” card it takes things to a whole new level. This now makes everyone in the room uncomfortable and sort of belittles the person this is aimed at. The irony is that no one is listening to the new point because they are all thinking “I can’t believe he/she did that.” I am not suggesting that we should allow people to just cut each other off all of the time but there has to be a better way.

The only thing I can think of is the Dr Evil “shhhh” move with the hand so if others have ideas I am all ears (unless you interrupt me…)



  1. What about the defensive “let me finish.” I think it’s a variation, useful when you are being almost purposefully cut off. Sometimes people absolutely refuse to allow their own questions to be answered if it takes any actual listening. 🙂

  2. It would be odd for folks to pass around the giant conch in order to speak

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