How you start a conversation – and how you finish it – matters greatly. Often more than whatever you have to say during the conversation, actually.
So here are some often forgotten things to remember:
- Don’t assume that someone is ready to have a particular conversation with you just because you’re ready to have the conversation with them.
- Don’t assume that anyone knows where you’re coming from if you don’t tell them.
- Don’t assume that someone’s silence is not a bad thing. Maybe the person needs a bit more time to think before responding respond so listen and be patient – don’t step on, or distract them from, their almost-ready thoughts.
- Don’t assume you know what someone’s going to say next – just because you’re often right about it doesn’t mean you’re always right about it.
- Don’t assume that everyone always knows what you want to happen next – be clear about what you’re wanting.
- Don’t assume that just because a conversation was easy for you that it was easy for everyone else, too.
- Don’t assume that just because a conversation was difficult for you that it was difficult for everyone else, either.
- Don’t assume that your message won’t need any reinforcement or clarification afterwards.
A little extra preparation on the front end – and a little extra continuity on the back end – will likely yield stronger results from what is discussed in the middle.
Ready? Set? Go!