We’ve all been through this.

And it’s perhaps more common than we realize. It makes our conversations less balanced and counterproductive. This might even be the fuse for lots of our daily disagreements and misunderstandings at our workplace.

I’m talking about interruptions and unbalanced dominance within a conversation.

Someone whom I don’t remember came up with this concept of “competitive speaking”.

This is better described by – people who use speed and tone of voice to dominate conversations. And after doing this for so long, they become really good at it.

Sounds familiar?

So how do we handle this in order to be able to talk?

I know. It’s not easy. Can you imagine an introvert trying to get his point across at a restaurant table surrounded by 4 extroverts?

It feels like an uphill battle.

And it is in fact, for many of us.

So, I’m going to share one simple idea that has worked for me every single time. And it’s this:

Use a warning word, such as “look” and ask the person if you can ask him / her a question. Do this in a slow-paced manner and bounce the ball after your warning word.

“Look, …can I ask you a question?”

Two things are going to happen here:

Number 1: You sent a subconscious message to the other person that you need space to talk.

Number 2: By speaking slower than the other person you draw them into your pace of speaking. Then, you say what you want to say, ideally at a slower pace than the other person’s pace.

This works like magic almost every single time.

Learn how to combat “competitive speaking” without having to fight fire with fire and you will have better, more balanced and more productive conversations.

If you want to go one step further into this and see the same technique applied in context, please watch this 2 min video, by Tony Bulmer.


You deserve to have better conversations.

Get in contact with us to go through a “discovery session” and find out how we can help you improve your and your team’s communication skills.

In the meantime, take care.