Success Secrets for Small Talk at Work
How good are you at chit-chat? With all the skills you need to be successful in business, this is one that often gets overlooked. Being a good conversationalist, however, is vital if you want to get ahead. Fortunately, small talk is a skill that can be learned; with a little bit of practice, you can become proficient at making conversation.
- Be mindful of the moment. Often, we’re so involved in our own thoughts or focused on our devices that we miss the opportunity to connect with those around us. Put away your phone when you’re around other people, and make a point to interact.
- Know before you go. If there’s a company event, find out what you can about people who will be in attendance. Think about the people you’d really like to meet, and what questions you might ask to engage them in conversation.
- Be prepared. Make a plan before you enter a social situation, thinking of questions you can ask to start conversations, current events that are interesting without being controversial, and interesting personal facts that you can share without oversharing. It’s also smart to plan for the close of a conversation, making sure you know how to gracefully exit when it’s reached its logical conclusion.
- Make the first move. Don’t wait for people to initiate conversations with you. Instead, take the initiative and branch out from people you already know. Be inclusive, introducing people to each other, and be friendly, conveying warmth and sincerity.
- Listen more than you talk. A big part of conversation has nothing to do with coming up with things to say. Focus on the person with whom you’re conversing, asking questions and paying attention to the answers. It’s likely that the answers will act as springboards for further conversation, so look for opportunities to ask follow-up questions.
- Be sure to share. If you only ask questions without volunteering information about yourself, the person with whom you’re talking may feel like you’re conducting an interrogation. Share details about your life, taking care to keep the conversation light and upbeat.
- Be mindful of your purpose. Small talk is more than mindless chatter. Rather, it’s a way to get to know people, forming connections in order to build more substantial relationships with colleagues and associates.
If you’re a leader in your company, you can help foster relationships by providing opportunities for team members to interact and get to know each other. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on offering training facilities that facilitate team-building, with high-quality equipment and exceptional service. Soundproof rooms, state of the art technology, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the ways we create an environment that makes a big difference for your event. For the past 18 years, we’ve provided exceptional service to businesses throughout Houston, and we have the expertise to help you make your event a success. To learn more about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.