How to stop a motormouth


A job finding client presented me with a problem during one of our coaching sessions. A colleague began a conversation with him by complaining about college loan programs and then jumped from that subject to several others. “Fifteen minutes passed,” my client said. “I was getting antsy and wanted to move on without being rude. How could I have handled the situation before my blood pressure almost exploded?”

I explained that we’ve all been engaged in dialogue with a motormouth who wouldn’t stop taking while we wanted or needed to end the dialogue without appearing to want to do so.

When it comes to ending a conversation with a loquacious person, there’s a polite and impolite way to do it.

How to end a conversation impolitely

It’s rude to end a conversation all at once with dimwitted comments like, “I’ve got to go now,” “I’ve got something else to do, see ya later,” or, even worst, “excuse me but I have to go to the bathroom.”

How to end a conversation politely

Here are two techniques you can use right now to end a conversation politely with a long-winded person:

THE JUMP IN TECHNIQUE. When the wordy talker pauses, jump in by commenting on the original topic. Using the college loan example mentioned above, my client could have ended the chat much earlier by saying this:

“Thanks for some enlightment on the college loan situation. It has certainly added to my knowledge about what’s going on in higher education. Good to see you again.

Now, you can begin to walk away.

The jump in technique becomes easier when you’ve practiced listening for pauses during your regular conversations with friends, family, and colleagues. You can brush-up your listening skills when you read “Learning To Listen,” a previous post on Your Career Service.

CREATE AN EXCUSE TECHNIQUE. Explain that you have something else to do and give the reason why. Example:

“I’ve enjoyed our chat very much, Igor, and now have to take my wife to her dental appointment. I always need to drive her when novocaine is involved because it makes her drowsy.”

A recent example this of this technique happened yesterday when someone used it on me. I had a very brief conversation with one of the workers at a pet rescue organization. After two minutes had passed, she asked my name and then said, “This is the time we feed out pets.” By inadvertently using the create an excuse technique, the worker didn’t make me feel badly at all with her abrupt ending of our chat.

Either of those two strategies will let you to end a conversation without giving offense—or making your blood pressure rise. What experiences have you had where a loquacious person wouldn’t let you go? Write and tell me about it in the comment section below.

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For more tips about how to listen, along with the latest job finding and career strategies, follow this link for information about how Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach can help you land a job sooner and make money faster.

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Copyright ©2016 by Ransom (Randy) Place






About the Author

Randy Place
RANDY PLACE is a job finding coach, author, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of For 23 years, he helped over a thousand downsized employees at JPMorganChase find jobs. He also coached executives at CBS, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding, communications skills, and sales strategies An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on job finding and sales training nationwide. His nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations in the US. Randy is the author of “Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach” and writes about career topics on His articles about job finding have appeared in the Wall Street Journal’s National Business Employment Weekly. A former sales executive at NBC, broadcast journalist, and commercials spokesperson, Randy holds a Bachelor’s in Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master’s in Journalism from NYU.

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