How to End Conversations in a Timely Manner


An acquaintance said to me, “I need to talk to Calvin about his progress on a compliance report, but I procrastinate because conversations with Calvin are lengthy.” 

Another person reported, “When I attempt an in-depth discussion with Duane, I leave the meeting uncertain about whether we have understood each other.”

Do either of these examples sound familiar?  Juan Siliezar, writing in the Harvard Gazette, described a study by Adam Mastroianni, a Ph.D. student in Harvard’s Psychology Department which reported only two percent of conversations ended when both parties wanted them to end.

In almost half of the cases, conversations extended longer than both parties desired.  In a display of politeness, parties in two-person conversations appear to continue talking, not because they have more to say, but because they are unsure of the other’s intentions.  Persons said their conversations ended too soon in only about ten percent of the cases. 

Many discussions pose a dilemma.  Individuals are busy and wish to communicate efficiently but prolong conversations unnecessarily. 

How can you resolve this issue?  Try this.  When you believe you have what you need, say something like, “That sounds good to me.  Are you OK with it?”

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.