[Home]ExitStrategy

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Before entering into a situation with a considerable commitment of time, energy, or money, it's important to develop a feasible exit strategy. That is, pre-determine how you will end your commitment. You can plan a specified date after which you will end your commitment, such as a time-limited contract. You can plan a threshold after which you will end your commitment, such as a certain level of financial loss. You can just the timing or circumstances indeterminate, but allowing yourself to exit once you no longer desire to uphold the commitment. For instance, in a conversation with a potential romantic interest, you may decide you aren't really interested, and then find a reasonably polite out, such as "I'm sorry. It looks like my friends are going." Thus, an exit strategy can get you out of a FlameWar, an embarassing situation, a hold-up where you feel you are wasting time, etc.

Conversely, in life, you must recognize this willingness to leave in others and let them off the hook quickly in order to end the situation, particularly a conflict (e.g. accept yes for an answer). Naturally, it is then important to clearly let others know when you have decided upon an exit strategy (and which one it is). Failure to properly negotiate the exit strategy with the other parties will either create a conflict or greatly exacerbate an existing one.

On a wiki you can declare your exit strategy on a particular subject or issue on your HomePage. This may allow others to cool down as well and thus you can avoid an EditWar or even a ForestFire. By indicating early on that you don't have a strong opinion in a subject, you are implicitly offering to just let it go, for example. If others agree with you, then the desired outcome can be achieved quicker.

By indicating early on that you don't mind what decision your team is taking as long as you don't have to do it, you are avoiding responsibility. If others agree that you need not share the burden, you may leave the decision-making process early on and let them decide it amongst themselves. If, on the other hand, you keep arguing and disagreeing, you are demonstrating an unwillingness to compromise and others will entrench themselves and fight with you all the more.

The ultimate exit strategy is the RightToLeave.


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