Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Brillyant comments on Wait vs Interrupt Culture - Less Wrong

72 Post author: Benquo 27 November 2013 03:38PM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (69)

You are viewing a single comment's thread.

Comment author: Brillyant 25 November 2013 04:56:33PM 19 points [-]

I attended a group discussion in regard to religion and ethics where there were very firm rules about how interaction could take place. No interrupting, no cross-talk, people's statement's were timed with a little hourglass and all took less than 60 seconds... I think (if I recall correctly) they even had a "talking-item" which you had to have in your hand in order to speak. When we read over the rules at the beginning of the discussion, I remember rolling my eyes and thinking, "Seriously? We are all adults... Can't we just have a discussion without all these rules? This is silly & infantile..."

The discussion was awesome. One of the most productive and interesting discussions I can remember. The rules, with no excepetion, were strictly but politely enforced. It felt silly at first, and then increasingly natural. I listened much more intently to other perspectives than I regularly do. I re-thought and chose to refrain from making statements I normally would have made. It was cool, and I'd say the Wait Culture worked that day.

I've been an 'interrupter'. I like to talk. And I enjoy heated debate. But I've been persuaded it is very unlikely to be the most productive way to proceed in a discussion. I'm trying to become a 'waiter'. (It's hard to do...)


Upvoted for framing this topic in a helpful way (Wait vs. Interrupt Culture). I've learned there is a staggering difference in the way individuals feel about this -- some think the wait culture is super weird; some are horrified by the rudeness of anything resembling an interruption. Interesting and helpful to know.