We’ve all done it. Used the weather to start a conversation. It seems like a safe enough fall back when we don’t know what to say. It sounds something like this.
“Can you believe this weather?”
“What do you think about the weather we’re having?”
You know what I think? It’s boring! Especially because I live in Seattle and 80% of the time is cold, gray and raining. Other parts of the country have the same problem. I grew up in Houston where the weather was hot and humid 80% of the time.
The weather is one of the quickest ways to a dead end conversation which is the exact opposite of you need to foster effective communication. When it comes to workplace communication, small talk and chitchat should be approached with more strategy and with an end game in mind.
You need a subject that will reveal a connection point and allow you to engage in regular conversations because that’s how you build rapport, increase trust and ultimately how you get more business done. That, my business-minded friends, translates into dollars.
So, if you’re not going to talk about the weather, or any of the other off-limit topics like politics, money, religion or sex – the very things your mother told you were not polite to talk about in public – what are you going to talk about?
Sports, of course. It’s a great common denominator and a safe subject. Plus, I’ve made it easy for you with the weekly Conversation Starters blog post each Monday. Not sure how sports can make a difference or are you uncertain of how to keep track of the latest sports headlines? Book me to speak to your group.
Here’s a tip to get your started: start reading the sports headlines – headlines only – in your local newspaper. That one simple step will keep you up to date on big sports happenings and interests in your area and start building your knowledge base. Plus, it’s so much more interesting that the weather and it leads to more effective conversations and effective communication.
Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, is the Founder and CEO of Talk Sporty to Me. Jen is committed to helping you boost your interpersonal skills, engage in more effective communication and reap the rewards of productive conversations. She’s available to speak for keynotes, presentations and workshops. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and read more at http://talksportytome.com