The office party is coming up again–at your partner’s office. Are you thinking, “how can I get out of it, this time?” It’s not that you don’t want to go out and have some spectacular hors d’oeuvres that you didn’t have to make. It isn’t even because you can’t decide what to wear. (we could easily solve that issue, together) Let’s deal with the real issue. You feel uncomfortable in a group of strangers or “almost” strangers. You’re not shy, maybe, but you really don’t know what to say that could possibly interest them. Does this sound true? Are you ready for tips that will work every time?
- Remember the first rule of conversation. Every person’s most interesting topic is “him/her self”! Without sounding like an interviewer- you can easily ask questions that show the greatest communication skill–LISTENING! If you are near a group where someone is already speaking, that is easy. Ask for more information about the topic. If Bryan is talking about how long it takes to charge the battery in his Nissan Leaf. Wait for a comfortable opening in the conversation, look right at him with concern (interest, humour etc) and ask a question that will keep HIM talking! Use his name, if you have been given an introduction or are wearing name cards–“On a longer trip, BRYAN, where could you do that recharging without having to sit waiting in the car?–or worse, sit with your kids asking how long is THIS going to take? — even if you don’t know that he has children, you would be implying that YOU have children– and that would give Bryan an opening to talk about something you know about. ** maybe Bryan has taken my course on “socializing and networking”.