‘How we leave is as important as how we arrive’

‘How we leave is as important as how we arrive’ 500 269 PTDigital

I’d like to share an idea with you that was prompted by the actions of two people I know. Their actions were very different. This idea is based on the thought that it’s as important how you leave – as it is how you arrive.

Two of the keys for memory retention are what’s called…

Primacy an immediacy – often referred to as firsts and lasts.

We tend to easily remember the ‘first’ thing that happens in any situation and similarly we tend to remember quite easily the ‘last’ thing that happens in any given situation.

For example:

I’m sure that you can probably remember your first partner and by the same token you can remember your last partner – who may now be your spouse.

If I asked you to think of the first day you spent at your previous job or career that’s probably one that you can quite readily bring to mind. And fairly obviously you can remember the last day.

So as you can see – in almost every situation – our ease of recall is enhanced by the factors of primacy and immediacy.

With that in mind you and I can see just how important it is to all our relationships, business and social, how we leave!

At the end of a meeting with a client or prospective client – what happens at the end of the meeting will be easily remembered and recalled.

What happens at the end of telephone call, something we do many, many times during a normal day – will again be easily remembered and recalled.

That’s why – it’s just so important to have what I call an outroduction as well as an introduction.

A practised way of ending our meetings, phone calls and even speeches.

More of that in a minute!

Now to these two friends:

The first one – I’ll use the pseudonym John for him – did it right.

The second one – I’ll use the pseudonym Jack – did it wrong.

John planned his departure meticulously. He let his employer know well in advance that he would be leaving to move to a different part of the country. He sat down with his manager and planned his exit.

What would have to be done in order to ensure that the business had continuity of the service he provided?

He was involved in the IT department of the business.

He gave 3 months notice – ample time for a replacement to be found and even promised that he’d be available by phone to help his replacement settle in to the position he’d vacated.

Jack on the other hand told me the story of how he left. He has a row with his boss and told the boss where to stick the job. Pay me what you owe and I’m out o’ here! Bad feelings all round.

Now could John get a great reference from his employer – you bet.

Could Jack? No way!

Both employers will vividly remember the leaving won’t they? John could always go back – Jack could never go back.

And who knows how many other people John and Jack’s respective employers know. Based on the principle of 6 degrees of separation those employers are but a few contacts away from almost everyone in the world – certainly within a few contacts of any prospective employer.

So how we leave is as important as how we arrive.

Are there occasions you can recall where in hindsight – you’re ‘leaving’ might have been better? Commercial positions you’ve held – partnerships you’ve enjoyed – even meetings you’ve attended.

And with that marvellous knowledge of hindsight – are there meetings and situations coming up where a bit of planning on the ‘leaving’ would be time well spent?

Just think of the meetings you’ll be attending in the next few days:

How do you want them to end?

What feelings do you want the other person or other people to have when you leave – what do you want their ‘immediacy’ memory to be of you?

And with that in mind what can you plan to do and say that will create the outcome you want?

What you say will be that outroduction I mentioned earlier.

A practised and professional way to end a telephone call – a speech – a meeting.

One that leaves you and the others involved – with good feelings.

After all – how we leave is as important as how we arrive.

Until next time

Peter Thomson

Leave a Reply