It’s cute when your dog wants to be your best friend and follows at your heels. It’s not so cute, when you have a “cling-on” networking experience. You know who we are talking about, the person who sticks to you like glue and wants to be your best friend for the whole evening.
We always get a laugh when we ask people if they know what a cling on is. Most people think it’s the other person who is the cling-on, but perhaps not? Here’s how to gauge if you have “overstayed your welcome”.
- The obvious sign is when the two of you are running out of conversational steam.
- If the other person is getting twitchy, maybe making darting eye movements, physically moving their feet slightly away from you, it’s time to leave.
- Five minutes is usually long enough for most conversations that are more small talk than substance.
- If you are part of a group you can hang around longer.
- All conversations should be shortened if the room is crowded and noisy.
- Remember, always excuse yourself from group conversations rather than just evaporating.
The graceful way to end the conversation is to say, “It was great talking with you. I’m sure you’ve got a lot of people you want to touch base with and I don’t want to take too much of your time.”
-Written by Gayle Hallgren-Rezac, Judy Thomson and Darcy Rezac, business networking speakers and authors of Work The Pond! Use The Power of Positive Networking to Leap Forward in Work and Life (Penguin/Prentice Hall) Shepa Learning Company
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Image courtesy of Ryan McGuire of Gratisography