We all know it’s not nice to interrupt when other people are speaking. But what if you have a coworker who likes to talk a lot? And what if that coworker dominates every meeting and prevents you from speaking or sharing your ideas? It can get really frustrating, really fast.

So occasionally, you do need to interrupt. But how can you do it without making other people think you’re a loud jerk? Author Kat Boogaard suggests that you use one of the following phrases:

  • “I have something to add” – Boogaard doesn’t think you should ask for permission to speak. (So saying something like “Is it OK for me to share a few ideas?” is a no-no.) Instead, she believes that you should confidently and clearly indicate that you have something important to say. Other people will hear the authority in your voice and give you their attention.
  • “Let’s stop for a minute” – Your talkative coworker may not be a bad person. He or she may simply be extremely chatty and enthusiastic about the topic under discussion. The person may be talking so much that he or she doesn’t even realize that others aren’t getting the chance to process the information or participate in the conversation. So saying “let’s stop for a minute” gives everyone the opportunity to pause and collect their thoughts. (In my opinion, though, this phrase seems a little harsh. I’d probably only use it if my level of frustration were extremely high.)
  • “I’m curious to know what [Other Coworker] thinks about this” – Pulling another person into the conversation will hopefully break your chatty coworker’s momentum and allow other people to speak. You’re probably not the only person who wants to share some ideas. So your comment is sure to be appreciated.


Boogaard, K. (n.d.). 3 phrases that’ll stop a conversation hog from talking (and talking and talking). The Muse. Retrieved from https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-phrases-thatll-stop-a-conversation-hog-from-talking-and-talking-and-talking?ref=recently-published-0