One of the rewarding aspects of starting this blog has been the opportunity to challenge preconceived notions about listening — both my own and others. This recent post from the Harvard Business Review, “Turn Your Next Interruption into an Opportunity,” is a great example of such a challenge.
The preconceived notion is that interruptions interfere with real work. The author, Douglas Conant, takes a more positive spin on interruptions: “Every ‘interruption’ offers an opportunity to lead impactfully, to set expectations, bring clarity to an issue, or infuse a problem with energy and insight.”
But he doesn’t stop there. More radically, “these thousands of little interruptions aren’t keeping you from the work, they are the work.” Conant encourages leaders to affirmatively seek out interruptions and to engage with both the issues they raise as well as the relationship dynamics they reveal.
Lawyers: can you embrace this positive spin on interruptions? How do you cope with interruptions?