If you give a monster a cookie…he’s going to want s’more. Then he might want to make small talk.
“There is nothing small about small talk. Small talk is an important people skill. It’s an important executive skill. It’s the first step in connecting with others and forging lasting and meaningful relationships in business. It is an easy way to get to know someone, create a positive first impression, and gain self-confidence.” -The Etiquette School of New York
Like so many other elements we’ve discussed, I think small talk can make or break a business deal. It’s also a skill that can be developed with practice.
Here are some tips…
1. Have approachable body language: open stance, eye contact, and smile. Casual eye contact and a warm friendly smile demonstrate your interest and desire to communicate.
2. Take the initiative and be the first to say hello. Be the first to introduce yourself and ask an open-ended question. This not only demonstrates confidence and shows interest in the other person, but it gives you an opportunity to guide the conversation.
3. Begin with statements or questions about the immediate environment, situation, weather, how the person arrived at your location, et cetera. A compliment is also a great way to start a conversation.
4. Be well-informed and prepared. Read newspapers and news magazines to be knowledgeable about what is going on in the world.
5. Focus on the other person and less on yourself. This will help you feel less self-conscious, and make the other person feel important.
6. Do listen. Control internal and external distractions. Be present; watch the tendency to daydream. Truly listening to another person is the highest compliment you can pay them.
7. Keep the tone light and positive until you find a topic in which you are both interested.
8. Discuss general-interest subjects such as movies, theater, sports, books, movies, food, travel and hobbies. It demonstrates to others that you are approachable and friendly.
9. Think before you speak. It makes you appear thoughtful; and it may help you avoid a faux pas, or saying something that is better left unsaid.
10. Always close a conversation before walking away from the other person by using a graceful exit line; don’t simply melt from conversations. “It’s been great talking with you. I really enjoyed hearing about…”
Ahem, these tips could also be entitled How to Make Friends…
Or, Get a Life Outside of Work So you Have Something Interesting to Talk About…
But that’s another day, and you get the idea 🙂
ALSO: ‘Tis in your best interest to avoid these subjects – Your health or diet habits, The cost of things, Mean gossip, Off-color jokes and Controversial issues, such as politics or religion, when you don’t know the others in the group.
Description: Ooey, gooey summer till the last drop cookies. No judgment if you “light” up some flameless candles and call it camping fireside as you enjoy these tasty treats.
1 stick butter
1 cup white sugar
2 egg whites
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp hot water
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (finely chopped)
2 cups chocolate chunks
2 cups mini marshmallows
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Cream butter and sugar.
2. Add egg whites and vanilla. In separate small bowl, add baking soda and hot water. Stir and add to batter.
3. Add salt, flour and graham cracker crumbs.
4. Gently fold in chocolate chunks and mini marshmallows.
5. Using ice cream scoop, place rounded dough balls on greased cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 12 minutes (marshmallow will ooze out so these are best eaten right out of the oven!)
“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. “
-e.e. cummings, 1955