Why would you like people to think for themselves?

Erikjan Lantink
5 min readMar 1, 2024

Would you like people to think for themselves?

I guess the answer is yes. Whether we’re a parent, a partner, a team member, or a leader, I hope you sincerely intend to let people make up their minds.

At this point, I pause to let you think about the question above before I continue.

Why is it then that all of us, daily and multiple times, interrupt people’s words and thinking?

Pay attention for a day and watch how often others or you interrupt people. It’s beyond painful.

Nancy Kline, author of the book “The Promise That Changes Everything,” claims that she’s convinced that divorce rates would go down if couples do a better job not interrupting each other and letting their partner think for themselves.

Don’t get me wrong. Because I write it down here, it doesn’t mean I’m good at it. I suck at it myself. When I get excited about something, feel judged, or unfairly treated (in my eyes), I get defensive and want to jump in. It’s a reflex that is very hard to unlearn. My family frequently reminds me of this because they know I care a lot about listening with intention and without interruption.



Erikjan Lantink

Business & Leadership coach. Interim Leader. Writer. Speaker. Former Retail Executive (general management; operations; HR)