The Rules of Disengagement: Ending Conversations Gracefully and Tactfully
Do you ever have trouble ending a telephone conversation?
Do you need to speak to someone but worry because it always turns into a long drawn out conversation on topics you would rather not speak about?
Some conversations don't just end naturally they need to be closed or disengaged. The following are ways to take back control of your time and disengage from those conversations that are not going where you would like them to go.
1. When you are the person making a call, be prepared in advance.
2. If colleagues enter your office and start chatting when you don't have the time or you want to end the conversation simply stand and this will signal an end to the conversation. Sometimes you will need to walk the person closer the door and also offer language that will close the conversation.
"Thanks for dropping by" or
3. Reference the next time you will see the person. That way it won't feel like you are brushing them off.
4. If you are at a reception and the conversation is going longer than you would like, shake hands and tell the person you are speaking to that it was nice to meet them or to see them again. You can also say something like "I would really like to continue this conversation another time - please give me a call so we can schedule it."
5. In a meeting have a clearly outlined agenda and share it with the group. The agenda should include times for each topic. When things are going long, you can refer to the agenda and say, "In order for us to keep with our agenda we will have to move on. If we need more time on this topic we can reschedule."
People often develop a fear that others will be hurt or insulted if they have to end a conversation, but if it is done properly, the majority of people won't think anything of it. They will respect the fact that you are a busy person and have other matters to attend to. Try using these approaches to disengagement:
Humour- as long as the person knows you are joking:
Polite wording - Etiquette has taught us these traditional conversation enders:
Excuses - whether it is real or fictional, either way it is a valid ender:
Positive comments will make the person feel good ending the conversation:
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Colette Robicheau is a consultant, coach, and public speaker with Organize Anything offering corporate, residential, and personal organizing services. Contact Colette at email@example.com or visit http://www.organizeanything.com/.