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Gracefully exit a too-long discussion

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in Business Etiquette,Career Management,Workplace Communication

During networking events, it’s all too easy to become trapped in a conversation that is dragging on and on. Use these tips to exit without offending the other person:

Don’t make some lame excuse. You are basically telling the other person that you have something more important—than him or her—to do.

Schedule your next interaction. Don’t say “Let’s get together soon.” Take out your calendar and pinpoint a date to get coffee, talk on the phone or have a more formal meeting. That makes the other person feel important, and you can walk away on a positive note.

Ask to exchange contact information. Offer a physical business card or request to send a quick email or text with your details, and ask the other person to do the same. That is a natural signal that the conversation is wrapping up. Then you can say “I look forward to staying in contact,” and make your exit.

— Adapted from “3 Polite Ways to End That Networking Conversation (That Don’t Involve Obvious Excuses),” Kat Boogaard, The Muse, www.themuse.com.

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