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How to politely end a virtual 1:1 meeting?

I attend my mentoring sessions or general talks with my coach and it sometimes gets awkward because I don't know how to end a meeting like I don't know how to signal that "I've asked all my questions and I have nothing more to ask". What do I say or do?

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Meghan’s Answer

Hi Shaina, great question!

I would recommend that before your meetings you make a list of your questions and topics you would like to discuss during that session. Depending how formal the sessions are, you can keep this list to yourself or share it as an agenda with your mentor! This list will help you to organize your questions and get the most out of your mentor's experience. Also, having questions prepared shows your mentor you care about the meetings and appreciate their advice!

The list will also serve as a natural stopping point. If you share it on screen, your mentor will visually see that you have covered everything. If you prefer to keep it on paper, you can more confidently say all your questions are answered. I will stress that it's always better to come with a lot of questions because it can be awkward if you have nothing to ask. And of course, always thank them for their time and advice!

Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for your advice! Very Helpful! Shaina
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Mary’s Answer

I would start with a thank you very much for this informative session
I appreciate the time that you’ve invested and I’ll see you at our next session have a great evening or a great day
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, Mary! Shaina
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Joseph R.’s Answer

When I am in a mentoring session and we have tackled my agenda, I ask the mentor whether they have or need anything from me. There may be topics or items the mentor wants to discuss as well. I've always been able to get insight by asking this question.
Thank you comment icon I will use this advice as I prepare for my career. Shaina
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Indrani’s Answer

It's natural for conversations to sometimes end abruptly, but with a little mindfulness, you can turn that situation into a positive and memorable experience for everyone involved. By actively engaging with the person you're speaking to and being genuinely interested in what they have to say, you can both strengthen your connection and make them feel valued.

In those moments when you sense the conversation is reaching its conclusion, try using these tactics to make the transition smoother and more respectful:

1. Give yourself and the other person some time to think by taking a longer pause before responding. This not only helps you gather your thoughts, but also allows the other person a chance to consider any further questions or comments they might have.

2. Maintain a warm and steady eye contact to show your genuine appreciation for the time spent together.

3. Express your gratitude for the conversation with heartfelt phrases like:
- "I've really enjoyed our time together today and I hope you have as well. Would you like to continue the conversation, or should we wrap up for now?"
- "This has been a valuable discussion, and I'd love to delve deeper. However, I understand if you need to end this meeting here. What are your thoughts?"
- "This was a great conversation. I'm looking forward to even more insightful discussions with you in the future!"

Ultimately, the key lies not in the specific words you choose, but in the sincerity and warmth with which you deliver them. By showing that you care about the other person's time and opinions, you'll be better able to foster an atmosphere of encouragement and understanding, making each conversation a truly meaningful and fulfilling experience.
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Tiffany’s Answer

If you've exhausted the questions you've prepared, it's perfectly acceptable to state that. However, rather than ending the conversation there, ask your coach if there were any:
1. Questions they expected or hoped you would ask
2. Points they really wanted you to walk away with/truly reflect on
3. Topics they'd like to you come prepared to explore for your next meeting
4. Resources they'd recommend (articles, podcasts, videos, books, etc.)

When you do eventually log off, be sure to thank them for their time.

Bonus: If they provide any points to reflect on or resources to consider AND you have the time to do so, send them a note ahead of your next meeting about what you've learned or are even more confused about. This will signal a topic for the next conversation AND highlight that you were listening and value their time and advice enough to follow through.


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M’s Answer

Hi Shaina! This is a great question. I actually struggled with this as well for a while. What worked for me was I after I have asked all my questions and if there is a silence/awkwardness arising, let your coach know that you've asked her all your questions and that you had nothing further, make her aware that you greatly appreciate her time. They will know that you are trying to end the meeting. This will guide your discussion to a close! Hope this helps, good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you Ms. Minha for your insight! Shaina
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Parimal’s Answer

Thank you note and appreciate the information exchanged. If you are on video give a smile and close it with a positive tone. Remember you are not talking to a person but a personality so even though there is a misalignment of thoughts, always close the meeting with positive notes.
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Ben’s Answer

I agree with everyone here who mentioned having an agenda. That way, the viewer will see that when your at the end of an agenda, it basically means the call is over. A couple of other things you can do is set expectations right at the beginning of a call and inform the person that you have a "hard stop" at 30 minutes past the hour or whenever your meeting is intended to end. The reason for that is, that you have another call or appointment that you cant be late for. If you stated the hard stop at the beginning of the meeting and they forgot about it when your running over, just say, "I have another call I need to get to." You can also let them know that you can always have a follow up call if everything wasn't covered.

In addition, as you get closer to the end of the meeting, try not to ask open ended questions as some people have a tendency to ramble on. Save the topics at the end to be yes-no type answers. These are some of the tricks I have learned over the years...
Thank you comment icon I ask open-ended questions at the end to fill in the silence. Thank you so much for the advice. Definitely will incorporate it next time I have another session. Shaina
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Daniela’s Answer

I would echo the above replies, and add another piece of advice: I find very productive for both parts to recap what was discussed in the session and show what you will do next. It also allows the coach to add anything he/she think might be missing. It demonstrates you see value is his/her time and advice, and have an action plan based on what you have discussed.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much Ms. Schneider for the advice. I will do a recap next time. :) Shaina
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Lauren’s Answer

Hi Shaina,

Fabulous question! Some great ideas already shared here - a great rule of thumb is to always come prepared with your list of questions/agenda and share this (if possible) with your mentor in advance. Ask them if they have anything additional they want to add to the list - reiterate this question at the beginning of your actual call/virtual session. Make some small chat (aka: depending on your relationship - do they have any fun plans for the weekend? How is their week going? How is XYZ thing going that you discussed last time, etc.!) Then dive into your list! Once you get to the bottom of it - I always ask again if there's anything else top of mind for the person or additional thoughts/learning materials they would suggest you focus on. After - maybe sandwich with a fun comment about something they said during the small talk portion at the beginning (aka: Have a wonderful time at XYZ thing this weekend!), thank them for their time and say you're looking forward to the next session.

And voila! Realize we're all human at the end of the day and having a awkward moment or two is no big deal - you're doing your best!

Lauren
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Francislainy’s Answer

You can just say something like "Okay, so I think that's everything from my side, unless you have anything to add I think it would be okay for us to leave it here. Thank you for your time today. Bye bye and see you next time."
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Lisa’s Answer

What a wonderful question! I recommend thanking your mentor for their time and saying that they have provided answers to all your questions. That should signal that your call is successful and can be closed.
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Cynthia’s Answer

Like Many have indicated, it's a great best practice to provide an agenda ahead of time. Allow your mentor to chime in with any additional items they want to discuss. During the session, reference the agenda as you flow from topic to topic. Once you have gone through all the agenda items, I would recommend saying something to the effect of " Those are all the topics I had on the agenda today, anything else you would like to add?".
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David’s Answer

I like Megan's answers, solid advice.
I run a lot of meetings and I find it best to have an agenda that I want to cover. That sets the tone for the meeting.
Ending a meeting isn't always easy, however, honesty usually works. You said "I've asked all my questions and I have nothing more to ask" that would be great to say, followed by "Thank you!"
Thank you comment icon I'm excited to put your great advice to good use! Thank you so much, Mr. Hamilton! Shaina
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Nitin’s Answer

You can start building on the end of the conversation by stating that this discussion was valuable to you. You appreciate the mentor's time that was devoted to the discussion and you will get back for further questions as per their availability
This is very subjective... you always need not say what I wrote up above... sometimes you can be casual and say you will need to step out but this was a great discussion

Having an agenda is the best thing you could do... the above advise is when you don't have one :)
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Venkat’s Answer

Excellent inquiry, Shaina! It's truly commendable that you're seeking guidance to handle this appropriately! I concur with the majority of the points already made.
Ideally, it would be best if the mentor spearheads the meeting. However, if you sense the need to conclude the meeting, there's absolutely no harm in expressing gratitude for the day's discussion and smoothly wrapping up the conversation. For instance, you could say, "I have these points to follow up on and will provide updates in our next meeting. I truly appreciate your time today. If it's alright with you, I'll take my leave now..." This approach is not only respectful but also ensures a positive and productive end to the meeting.
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