Dr. Francis Battisti, executive vice president and chief academic officer of SUNY Broome, recently lead a discussion on effective communication. Through a series of upcoming posts, we’ll reveal his most thought-provoking pieces of advice.

Part One:

The average sentence you’ll hear today is nine words. That one was. So why is it that we have so many communication breakdowns in conversations? Well, it seems the typical conversant is already responding on word three! That means that before speaking words four through nine, you’ve already been cut off like a car in traffic. Worse yet, two-thirds of an important conversation can be completely lost.

The takeaway? Take time to listen and reflect before responding. The other person will appreciate it, and you both may learn 67 percent more in the deal.

Will you keep this in mind the next time you’re tempted to interrupt someone mid-sentence?