DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH SMALL TALK? HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO HELP.
Do You Often Find Yourself Awkward At The Workplace, Struggling To Keep The Conversation Professional, And Approachable. If You Struggle With Small Talk Here Are A Few Tips To Help Combat And Boost Your Self Confidence.
Do you often find yourself awkward at the workplace, which affects your professional work? You aren’t the only one! Indeed, a lot of people are unable to move ahead in their career, not because they lack the skills but due to their low self-confidence. But it’s about to change things. And small talk can take you a long way in this regard.
UNDERSTANDING THE ART OF SMALL TALK
So what does small talk entail? Has it ever happened to you that you sit with your colleagues in awkward silence and have no idea how to initiate a conversation? Mastering the art of small talk can help you out in such situations.
Small talk isn’t really anything complicated. It’s mostly a casual conversation about random topics that enables you to build a rapport with others. Typically, you initiate small talk with people you don’t know all that well. This is why it’s vital to master this art for your workplace.
Many people are engulfed with anxiety when they realize they have to talk with people they don’t know. Small talk can be their defence. It’s actually a valuable tool in the professional world as it allows you to build a rapport with your colleagues, network, and meet new people.
WHAT CONSTITUTES SMALL TALK
Naturally, you won’t know a lot of people at your workplace. Most of them are complete strangers. Mustering the courage to approach them is bound to be challenging. But once you do so, you will develop a newfound self-confidence in yourself.
Of course, you want to make an excellent first impression on your colleagues, and small talk can help you out in this regard. It’s an opportunity to develop a healthy working relationship with your co-workers.
Yes, it doesn’t take more than a brief introduction to initiate a small talk. But there are some things you need to be clear about first. You have to assess the purpose of approaching a particular person. Why do you want to establish a rapport with him? Do you know anything about him or his interests? This will make it easier for you to think of topics to converse about during the small talk.
Remember, small talk also includes listening for the most part. You have to be attentive to what the other person is saying. This will play a vital role in building trust. You need to talk about things that the other person can relate to. If you don’t know much about the person, you can listen actively or ask questions to find out more about him. You can then use the information to continue with the small talk.
Keep in mind that small talk isn’t only about conveying information about yourself. You have to know more about the other person too. For instance, when you meet a colleague in your workplace, you can briefly explain what you do and then ask about his responsibility after exchanging pleasantries. The goal of small talk is not to know the other person fully but to collect enough information to build a rapport.
BE AUTHENTIC IN YOUR APPROACH
When you approach someone for small talk at work, they shouldn’t feel as though you are talking to them merely for the sake of it. They should get the impression that the encounter is indeed valuable for you. Remember, authenticity takes you a long way in small talk.
The thing is, shy people often find approaching others a challenge. You can improve your skills by rehearsing small talks. Instil confidence in yourself and let your authentic feelings attract people. The purpose of small talk is to make people want to know more about you. It’s the first step to creating a healthy workplace environment for yourself.
FIGURE OUT A COMMON GROUND
Of course, you won’t have a lot of time during small talk. So don’t pick on a topic that invites extensive discussion. Instead, talk about things that both of you are interested in.
Naturally, you will have to put in some effort and actually listen to what the other person says to gauge his interests. Remember, simply because you are in a workplace does not imply that you have to focus on work-related topics. You can talk about your passions, hobbies, experiences, and so much more.
BE READY FOR SOME AWKWARD MOMENTS.
Yes, there will be times at your workplace when you will have to experience uncomfortable silence. Don’t take it as a sign that the other person isn’t interested in talking to you. If you feel someone wants to end the small talk, don’t hold them back. Sometimes, silence can also imply that the other person is reflecting on the conversation.
At such times, you can continue working. This will help ease the atmosphere. In case you are at a loss for words, you can go back to discussing a common ground or talk about something totally random.
ALWAYS REMEMBER NAMES
Yes, this is one of the most vital aspects of mastering small talk. We get it. You work with so many people. You can’t remember the names of all the people. However, you have to make an effort to remember the name of the person with whom you indulge in small talk. This will put them at ease and also make them feel more connected to you.
It’s also a good idea to follow up with the person you have a small talk with. This will enable you to establish a strong professional relationship.
It’s vital to realize when it’s time to not stretch the small talk. You will feel when the small talk has reached its culmination point. Typically, a small talk ends with plans of meeting up in the future, so it’s good if you exchange contact information at this point.
Remember that having people to talk to in your workplace is a blessing and can increase your self-confidence by manifold. Small talks can help you break the ice and get settled in your work environment comfortably.