Disengaging is one of the most overlooked influence tactics, but when used properly, it can allow both parties the time to breathe, hit the reset button, and come back to the issue later with renewed energy and perspective. It can be difficult to identify when it’s time to Disengage, and if you continue to push while the other individual appears to be in an immovable position, you may shut them down totally, and lose the possibility of influencing them in your favor altogether. Here are 3 signs that it’s time to Disengage.
1: The other person has stopped talking altogether
While this is the most obvious and straightforward sign that it’s time to Disengage, some people may still attempt to influence the other person despite the fact that they appear to have shut down. You’re only putting yourself further in the negative by continuing to potentially antagonize the individual you’re trying to influence.
2: The other person has gotten overly aggressive
If you’re discussing an issue that someone has strong feelings about, it’s very possible for emotions to run hot. When emotions run hot, it’s not only that much more difficult to get any influencing done, but it’s that much easier for someone to say something that has longstanding negative effects on the relationship. Our goal is to influence others while maintaining relationships, if we can’t do both, disengage.
3: When you’ve run out of productive options
If the discussion seems like it’s just going in circles, you’re essentially just wasting both party’s time, and people lament having their time wasted – it can be interpreted as a lack of respect overall. Again, we want to achieve goals and maintain, if not improve, our relationships. Bottom line is that you need to pay attention to the contextual clues in the conversation, as well as more subtle signs such as body language, eye contact, and general energy levels in the room. We all want conflict resolution, but sometimes it’s going to take longer than you want, and that’s okay, it just means it’s time to Disengage and come back to the issue later.