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Tips on how to converse with new people in a work situation

(8 Posts)
OrangeAndPurple Thu 27-Mar-14 03:12:31

My new job will involve going to different locations. I can do the job; that's not the problem.

The issue is that I'm rubbish at meeting new people and making small talk so tend to come across as either shy or blush start shaking people's hands and putting on a confident act which i can't carry through as i don't know how to keep a 'small talk 'conversation going.

Tips please from those who know how.

Sid77 Thu 27-Mar-14 03:39:37

Talk about what you know and are interest edge in, be interest edge in other people. It helps to have a list of questions in your head for when/if conversation gets a little stuck. Stick to non controversial topics. How long have you worked here? Do you have much of a commute? How did you come to this line of work? Etc.

YellowTulips Thu 27-Mar-14 03:43:58

You could have been me posting 5 years ago smile

My strategy is simple. Start with a compliment then ask questions.

Let other people speak. Example:

So "hi am yellow from the UK"

"Hi yellow"

"Great to meet you - you're so lucky to work in this office Rome/Milan/London/NYC is such a great location. How long have you worked here?"

YellowTulips Thu 27-Mar-14 03:48:39

Sorry forgot to say - most people want to talk about themselves - so if you keep asking questions then that's "small talk" done.

Also have a "blue Peter" smile mastered. It's the one where the model all goes wrong but the presenters face says "this is excellent".

This is when people answer your questions for 30 mins so you know their life story and need to look like you give a shit grin

stingaling Thu 27-Mar-14 04:02:49

I'm rubbish at this! Marking my place for more tips!

YellowTulips Thu 27-Mar-14 04:31:25

Sorry - me again smile

You said about keeping a conversation going.

In the office ask a few questions, then simply say "great to meet you - would be good to catch up later - got a call/meeting to get to" then SMILE and walk purposefully off.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 27-Mar-14 04:40:24

As a PP said, people like to talk about themselves so turn interviewer and channel your inner Paxman smile 'What's new? What's happening? Tell me more... ' I find it helps to get to know if a contact has family or some outside interest. Keep a few notes and next time you see them you can start the ball rolling with 'how did junior get on with that uni application?' or 'what about that United City match the other night?'

ShinyTurd Thu 27-Mar-14 07:09:34

Remember this, everyone's favourite topic is themselves. If you get stuck for something to say, ask them something about themselves (nothing creepy though) grin. Some people will harp on for ages about something really dull but at least it gets you out of having to do anymore talking. You just have to nod occasionally and feign interest, even if they're telling you about their paperclip collection.

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