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Editorial: Before You Interrupt, Crowd Etiquette

In the music and radio industry or in any industry getting together with colleagues for events is a great thing. We don’t often have a lot of opportunities to see each other and when we do, we want to take advantage of the moment. The keyword here is “moment.”

Let me say the Living Legends dinner was amazing. By far the best I’ve been to to date. It was great to see so many people from our industry, both new and seasoned vets, and I know we have so few events on the Black side, and we want to get everything in that we can because we don’t know when (or if) we will see each other again.

Being Considerate …

I have always found it interesting and annoying at ANY event when people see you amidst a conversation and just come up and interrupt by speaking to you or the person you are speaking to with no regard for your conversation. Cutting you off mid-sentence to speak to someone they have not seen in a long time and, worse yet, not acknowledging the person they cut off. Just in case you didn’t know, It’s very rude and inconsiderate.

So what should you do?

Let the person finish their thought, stand at a short distance, walk up, excuse yourself for interrupting, acknowledge BOTH people and quickly speak to the person that you want to speak to and tell them you will talk to them in a few minutes; there is a very good chance they will be standing by themselves at some point where you can continue to your conversation.

There is also a chance the person they are speaking to will be finished and walk off, but maybe not. You never know what they are discussing, and it may be important. Just like you want to talk to them, so do they.

It’s ALSO rude and inconsiderate when…

You are the person having the conversation, and you SEE someone standing there waiting for you to finish your conversation so they can talk to the person you are talking to, but you go on and on and on and on, talking and ignoring the person who wants to get a quick word in.

That’s also rude and inconsiderate; there is a limited time for the person to have a conversation. Give them a chance too.

I was recently at another event, and a man was talking to a potential client of mine, and after he said what he had to say and got her card, he asked her where she was from.

When she told him, he started telling her this long, drawn-out story about when he lived in the same city 20 years ago; he was asking her about restaurants and streets … at an event? He had already gotten her card. He was being rude and inconsiderate.

So what should you do in this case?

Politely interrupt, acknowledge both people and excuse yourself and say, I just wanted to meet you and get your contact information. If there is a limited amount of time and you have to get a word in, you have to do what you have to do.

Overall, I get it; there is a crowd, everybody wants to get a word in, and there is a limited amount of time to do it but try your best to be considerate of all three things and make all interactions as quickly as possible. As Maya Angelou once said people may forget what you did to them but they will remember how you made them feel and these acts make a person feel like they lack importance. To that end, you never know when you will need the person you ignore in the future. Just a thought.

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