81 people share their assertive communications tips at:
Stay focused on solutions.
You will have clients and colleagues who are scatterbrained. I dont mean this in a mean way. They simply dont have focus. There are several possible reasons:
They might simply enjoy chatting. Its just what they do.
They might feel the need to talk in order to hear their own voice.
In some cases, they might actually think better while speaking.
But your valuable time need not fuel their thinking. It need not feed their ego. And it need not keep them entertained. Bring the conversation immediately back to the problem and moving toward a solution.
There will be other clients and colleagues who give you vague instructions, answers or advice. Some people have commitment problems. Its not just with finding a life partner; some people have problems to commit to any opinion or option, even such benign positions as:
whether to order donuts or muffins for that early meeting
whether to meet at the coffee shop across the street or the coffee shop three blocks over
whether to go with the red design or the blue
But you need clarity in order to do a good job. They might like to hedge their bets so that if theyre not feeling perfect one day, they can say that you didnt do the job right. But thats not what you want.
And when things go wrong, as sometimes they do, there is always somebody who throws the blame around:
There oughta be a law.
Youre such a nincompoop.
Somebodys gonna pay for this.
Nobody ever solved anything by ranting. But sometimes people need to rant, so dont deny people their God-given right to be upset. However, it serves you no purpose to have an upset bull in your china shop, so as soon as possible, pivot the conversation back to the problem to be solved and possible solutions.