Was there anything else?

How often do you have a conversation with someone, and when you walk away, wondered if there was anything left out? Left to chance? Unsaid. Something you missed?

Try this sentence out. Especially if you’re speaking with someone over the phone, and even more important, if it’s someone you don’t know, like a new business partner, client, parent, or community member:

“Was there anything else you wanted to share?”

Thoughtful, right?

Offer the extra, the “hey, did you mean to say something else before we disconnect?” or “I know I talked a lot, so what did you want to say before we go?”

Just a touch of extra.

A kind, helping hand. In case they forgot, or felt they shouldn’t have, or were too afraid to ask…

And if you’re in a conversation, and someone has asked you a question, but instead you drone on because you weren’t really listening, but oh shoot, you forgot to answer…, here’s a phrase that might help:

“Could you repeat the question? And thank you for repeating the question, as I had not answered it completely.”

Help others communicate with you.

And help yourself by making sure you communicate effectively, clearly, and fully with others.

It’s better that way, and everyone’s understood. The way you and they intended to.

Thanks to Steve Inskeep at NPR for keeping it real, and for inspiring me to be a better communicator.