Do you know what I find slightly off-putting, when I’m having a conversation with someone in person or on the phone?

When you’re talking to that person, and they’re saying ‘uh-huh’, or ‘mm-hmm’, or ‘OK’ while you’re talking, but it’s not at the right time. It’s not at the end of one of your clauses, or when you pause. In fact, it’s at a point where you know they’re either not listening or else they feel they have to participate in the dialogue due to nerves or a need to appear superior.

Some of the rules of dialogue best practice are that you wait your turn, collaborate with your co-speaker, put them at ease, get on with them. Then there are the verbal and non-verbal cues that you have to pick up too.

Jumping in at the wrong time – and this is different from interrupting – breaks all the rules.

Get the timing right. It shows them you’re listening and you understand how to converse. It also gets you what you need.