Hey! Has anyone ever wrapped up a conversation you were not done having? Have you felt like you were making progress in a discussion only to have the person to whom you were speaking decide the results were good enough and leave?
Results. A good conversation has great results. However, you cannot stay in a conversation forever, waiting for those great results to happen. People wear out. Some people will talk forever and never get to a solution. Others will talk for a minute or two and be done discussing a situation.
Personalities. Depending on which of those descriptions more accurately represents you, you might find yourself either ending a conversation when the person with whom you are speaking is not done, or needing a longer conversation than the other person is willing to tolerate.
If either person in a conversation is not done, that need must be identified and acted upon in order to bring about the long term results that you want.
What to do?
It’s okay to wrap up the conversation if time is up, either person needs to go, or one person is done.
It’s not okay to ignore someone’s need to continue the conversation at a later time.
It is a good idea to take a break if one person needs it, and acknowledge you are doing so in order to ensure productive use of everyone’s time.
It is not a good idea to leave without some type of summary.
It is a good idea to determine next steps for each meeting participant.
First, ensure you start the conversation with a clear goal in mind. That goal can be referenced to keep the conversation on track, identify next steps, and if needed, determine the need, and the agenda, for a follow up meeting.
Then, when there is either 10% of the meeting left or when one person gets fidgety, start to summarize what has been accomplished, identify any unmet needs and schedule a follow up meeting if needed at a future date. The steps each person will take before the next meeting, and the agenda for the follow up meeting should both be clearly identified, committed to and agreed upon.
Simply escaping a conversation does not mean it has finished, and could cost you a lot more time in the long run.