I Don’t Know How To End Conversations! I Don’t want to sound rude!
I’m frequently asked about how to bring a conversation to a polite and friendly close. Like you, no one wants to be perceived as rude or hurtful. And when we are in these types of situations we tend to freak out and that’s when we begin to make mistakes that will make us look bad! We might:
1) Just leave without saying goodbye
3) Brush them off harshly
And other ways that are not correct.
According to Lisa B. Marshall (Public Speaker) she says “When we want the conversation to end, we also want the other person to think the conversation was enjoyable. If we’re engaged in a conversation and we need the conversation to end, we don’t want you to think that you’re a bore or that you’re an undesirable conversation partner.”
Some researchers refer to this as conversational “face saving.” And in order to do that effectively we follow specific conversation-ending strategies to smoothly close the conversation.
But What Are the Quick Strategies We Can Use?
Technique #1: The Genuine Direct Comment
For example, at the end of my conversation with David at the networking event I might say:
Hey David, I’m glad we talked, you gave me some interesting ideas to think about.
Samantha, it was really great to meet you in person.”
Notice how in each of these, I included the name of the person. That makes it just a little more personal and helps to signal that the end has come. And another alternative could be:
Hey Fabian, I really enjoyed our conversation.
Technique #2: Summarize
The idea is to review the main ideas you just discussed.
It goes something like this…
“So thanks for clarifying the terms of the job”. I’ll review my notes and what you told me and I’ll get back to you tomorrow and let you know my decision.”
When you move the conversation to summary, people perceive that to be a signal that the conversation has come to a close.
Technique #3: Flatter Them
According To Susan Roane’s book “How To Work a Room” she uses a great line that flatters the person and you leave the other person feeling positive.
” Hey It was a pleasure to meet you but I don’t want to take up all your time especially because know there are others who want to speak to you to.”
So there you have it, three effective strategies for bringing a conversation to a polite and friendly close.