Every once in a while, leaders will need to hijack conversations to interject a wise thought to all parties. This is an efficient way to redirect communication to serve the most important agenda, which is coincidentally your own.
As you well know, one of the marks of good leadership is efficiency, no matter the cost. You can combine efficiency with multi-tasking and communication all at once by hijacking.
There’s not much to it — just find existing conversations and jump in with a new topic. This tactic is effective in chatrooms, forums, phone calls, emails, and most of all in person. It’s kind of like photo-bombing, but much more useful. I call it convo-bombing.
When you hijack conversations, remember you don’t have to be sneaky — you’re their boss! When you are sneaky about it, people become suspicious instead of just becoming annoyed. No need to be indirect about introducing your topic, which is more important than whatever the current one is about. (No need to be concerned with that!)
Applications for Hijacking
Your underling sends you and your vendor an informative email? Reply all with something unrelated you just remembered and by all means add on the part it actually applies to. Keeping everyone informed is a basic tenet of good communication.
What if you and several employees are in a meeting and you recall something that only deals with one of them? By all means, hold a one-on-one sidebar discussion. Whether the other people in the meeting realize or not, they will greatly benefit from the discussion about which printer will replace the broken one.
Online forums are a great place to practice. The web is awesome for asking any question you have on whatever website you’re on at the time. Some people who respond forget to answer your question and pretend to be annoyed. Some, though, will even help you search the internet for your question. How considerate!
With practice, you will level up your communication skills. Hijack conversations boldly, for proficiency does not come to the faint of heart!
W. Albert Jameson, IV
Remember to show your team members respect by listening intently, especially if you hope for anyone to do the same to you. Don’t just wait for a pause so you can jump in with your response. If you choose the right time to speak carefully, your message will be much more powerful.
For bonus points, let your actions do the talking and give your mouth a break. It’s amazing how much more you will communicate in silence.