Set Limits with a Talkative Colleague or Client
Let’s face it: Some people don’t know when to stop talking. But how do you escape when you’re dealing with a long-winded senior executive or important customer? First, diagnose the problem. Does your boss tend to deliver speeches in meetings when there’s no agenda? Does your biggest client complain for hours when you’re out for lunch? Change the circumstances, then set limits. You might say, “I know your time is valuable. Let’s keep this to five minutes.” Or perhaps: “I’d like to talk with you about the Jones account. I’ve prepared a three-bullet-point agenda. Could we discuss each item for five minutes?” On a conference call with a client, you might start with: “I’ve got a hard stop at noon. Is there anything you’d like to tackle right away?” And embrace brevity in your meetings by using tighter agendas and shortening PowerPoint presentations.