It’s called Cooperative overlapping.
It seems self-evident. Starting to speak before another has finished violates their right to the floor. In formal contexts such as political debates, it breaches the rules. In casual conversation, it is simply rude.
But it’s not so simple. As a linguist who studies the mechanics of conversation, I’ve observed and documented that beginning to talk while another is talking can be a way of showing enthusiastic engagement with what the speaker is saying. Far from silencing them, it can be encouragement to keep going.
Highlighting content from my September 2021 newsletter.
We live in a technological universe in which we are always communicating. And yet we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection.
300+ comments on this NYTimes.com opinion by Sherry Turkle, MIT professor and author of Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other.
At the workplace, at home, at school,
the only stupid question is the question that is not asked,
the only stupid comment is the comment that is not made, and
the only stupid idea or suggestion is the one that is not shared.
So, go ahead, by all means… be stupid!
Each communicative act should have a purpose. In interviews, in meetings or in everyday conversation, what is the purpose of the questions you ask?
Here are some questions and their corresponding purposes:
1. Are you saying…?
Identifies someone’s language patterns.
2. Are you willing to…?
Tests someone’s limits.
3. Can you give me…?
Encourages examples and specifics.
4. Can you remember…?
Taps into someone’s memory.
5. Did you ask…?
Questions someone’s questions.
6. Have you considered…?
Non-threatening proposal of options.
7. Have you given any thought to…?
Suggestive, yet doesn’t sound like advice.
8. Have you thought about…?
Forces someone to think!
9. How are you constantly…?
Promotes consistency of action.
10. How are you creating…?
Proves that someone has a choice.
11. How can you become…?
Future oriented, motivational.
12. How can you make…?
Enlists someone’s creativity.
13. How could you have…?
Focused on past performance improvement.
There are 63 questions and why they work here.