Regardless of how strong your introduction started, your best efforts will be eroded without a strong finish. How you exit an introduction might be the last thing a new colleague remembers about you, so make sure you have a strong finish.
A strong finish is also important because it is often the first step to your next interaction with your colleague. When you connect with new colleagues, do not consider your interaction as a one-time event, but the start of a possible relationship. Strong finishes make your next strong start easier.
A key segment of a strong finish is to exit your introduction effectively. If you find yourself connecting with a colleague in ways that feel energizing and rewarding, stay with it for as long as it feels right. Conversely, staying in an introductory conversation for too long may deny you the opportunity to meet additional colleagues.
At some point, you will sense that it is time to move to another introduction. Extending an introduction long after it should have been over is not beneficial to you or your colleague. Most probably, you will extend an introduction long after it should have been over because you do not know how to end it effectively and politely. Here are some suggestions on how to exit an introduction in ways that build a bridge to your next interaction.
- “I see some other colleagues that I would like to say hello to. If you don’t mind, I am going to head over to see them. Here is my business card. It has been great meeting you and I look forward to connecting again soon.”
- “It has been great meeting you! Here is my business card. If you can give me your contact information, I would love to continue this conversation over coffee.”
- “I’d love to continue our conversation, but I see a colleague that I need to mention something to. If you would excuse me, I am going to grab him before I miss him.”
You can find Ed’s book, Raise Your Visibility & Value: Uncover the Lost Art of Connecting on the Job