My friends and I have always had a habit of categorizing people by the type of dinosaur they would be. There’s the loud-asaurus, the interrupt-asaurus, the grump-asaurus…and on and on. It all came about just after high school when a friend decided to make a move on a coworker. In typical teenage fashion, his way to get noticed and impress her was to be extremely… loud. Unfortunately, it didn’t have the desired effect, and a trend was born when she asked, “Who’s the loud-asaurus?”
I run into ‘sauruses in business all the time, and unfortunately they tend to have more negative impacts on a workplace than positive.
Take, for example, the interrupt-asaurus. Interrupt-asauruses tend to be:
– Thoughtless, careless
– Negative Nancy
Most people know that interrupters are annoying – they don’t listen, they always have something more important to say, and frankly, it’s tiring.
But what other impacts can the interrupt-asaurus have on your business?
Think about this example: Lucy in accounting has noticed that a certain customer spends more during certain times of the year. In a meeting, a month or two before, they consistently ramp up their purchasing. Lucy attempts to bring this customer up and is immediately interrupted by Rex, the interrupt-asaurus, who says that they’re already huge customers and we need to focus on acquiring new ones. Lucy’s thoughts are derailed and she’s unable to bring the conversation back to her initial point… That this customer is about to start a cycle of more buying and that marketing should make extra efforts to garner more business from them.
Rather than encouraging Lucy to speak and potentially bringing in more business, Rex has made the conversation about himself and his thoughts. Lucy is no longer a contributor, even though she may have equally valid ideas. Lucy may also be dissuaded from contributing to further conversations because she’s tired of being interrupted and shut down, and she feels like her ideas are somewhat worthless.
I don’t mean this as any sort of an attack on dinosaurs, but encouraging all employees to contribute and not feel stifled may help extinguish the interrupt-asaurus methodology.