5 Ways to Leave a Conversation
Striking up a conversation is hard but ending one can be even harder! Maybe the conversation is a dead end and we don't want to seem rude. Maybe we're very interested but know we need to work the room. Whatever the case may be, many of us struggle when it comes time to say goodbye and the results can be painful.
Protip: Your time is just as valuable as anyone else's and you're equally deserving of respect.
I've heard a lot of horror stories from women who were blatantly disrespected in interviews and at events. If someone is speaking over you, ignoring you or saying offensive things, you don't need to worry about being polite when you leave. #FuckEm
But when the conversation's good and you're just worried about burning a bridge, here's 5 (perfectly acceptable) ways to leave a conversation.
1. Hold that Thought
It can be tempting to respond when asked a question--especially if you have a good answer. If you're trying to leave the conversation, however, it might be the perfect time to keep your opinion to yourself--until next time.
"I actually have some thoughts on this but I should make my rounds. Where's your office located? I'd love to grab some coffee and follow up."
2. Leave on a Laugh
People are distracted when they're laughing and you can use that to your advantage. If you're feeling awkward about leaving a conversation, announce your leave right after you've all shared a good chuckle! People will associate you with a positive shared experience.
"Guys, this has been really great! I have to walk around but I want to keep in touch, do you guys have Linkedin?"
3. Ask for Their Card
While it's tempting to just hand yours out, if you really want to connect with the person you have to take charge of the situation. Once you have something of theirs, an email or number, feel free to leave them with your info.
"I hate to cut this short but I'd love to keep speaking. Do you have a card?"
4. Reel Someone Else In
If the person is rambling or you realize you're not a good fit for the conversation, bring someone else in and facilitate a conversation between the two of them. once they're caught up, politely excuse yourself in any of the aforementioned ways.
"You should meet _____! I think she'd find your thoughts on native advertising really poignant."
5. Grab the Lull
Conversation comes in waves, learn to recognize the ebb and flow. When the conversation hits a lull, a quiet moment or the conversation has gone scale (you've dwindled down to small talk), say in an upbeat tone "So this was great, I'd love to keep in touch." Being excited about exchanging information assures you leave on a positive note.
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