We can’t be all things to all people and neither can people be all
things for us. It’s just the way the world works. Occasionally as you
are in your networking circles you will meet some people who just
aren’t your “cup of tea”. This could be for any number of reasons:
You find them brash
There really isn’t any common ground between the two of you
They work for a company that you have a bad history with
Your personality types are remarkably different
and the list goes on. For whatever reason, you two just don’t click.
As such, you will find it prudent to leave the conversation. The
reality is, you have a fixed amount of time at a networking event, no sense wasting it talking to a dud. Here’s the tricky part; how do you leave the conversation gracefully??
You’ll notice that I use the word gracefully. Why? Because there’s
lots of ways to do it ungracefully:
You can say you have to use the restroom and make a dash (by the way, this could be a true story)
Maybe it’s time to refill your drink?
Perhaps you want to use the “look at your watch and it’s time to go
line”. Here’s the deal with this one, if you pull it, you need to
While all of these have the desired effect, LEAVING the conversation, they’re not the best way to do it. Here are two examples that the pros use:
1. If you’re at the right event, you are bound to see someone you MUST speak with. Locate that person, point them out to your current conversation partner. Explain that you have been trying to speak with them for X amount of time or just why you need to speak with them. Get their buy in about how important this conversation will be to you, thank them for their time and make a bee line for this next person.
2. This is the best way: Introduce them to someone who you think they should meet. If you did a good job of asking them the right questions and listening to them in the beginning, you will know who they need to meet. If you are aware of the people in the room, you will likely know at least one person who they should be talking to. Make that introduction. It’s quick, easy and if done right, both people will be happy you did it.
Here is a key point to ponder: Just because you didn’t enjoy a conversation with someone doesn’t mean that others won’t.