If you’re a corporate professional or business entrepreneur you know how important rapport can be to the advancement of your career or success in business. It’s not the ones with the best ideas that reach their goal, it’s the ones with the bigger and better support systems in place – this includes resourceful people who want to see you win. Your ability to make quick friends of engaging strangers could turn out to be a game changer, giving you the edge in your professional and business pursuits.
One of the quickest ways to build rapport is by engaging in meaningful small talk. Small talk is an essential skill, one that can serve you well as you seek to advance your stature and check off those goals off your list of accomplishments; but it’s not always easy. Developing the skill of small talk requires practice, but if you’re bold enough to step outside your comfort zone, there are many opportunities for practice and below are a few tips to get you started along the process.
Learn to ask good questions. Knowing how to ask a good question makes you look curious and interested in the other person. This is great because people love sincere attention. The result is a genuine connection that can possibly open the door to a mutually beneficial relationship.
Always have something interesting to share. Be sure to stay on top of current events and have a few interesting personal stories to share. It’s important to be interested, but it’s also important to be interesting. As your interest in others sets you in a good light, others will want to know more. Always have a few interesting tidbits about yourself ready to share.
Find and expand on common ground. As you engage in light-hearted banter, you’re bound to come across areas of shared interests and common ground. When this happens make sure to milk the moment. People like people who are like them. Acknowledging common interests or shared experiences will go a long way in positioning you as someone they like and can relate to.
Keep it brief. There’s a time and a place for small talk, and there’s a time and place for deeper, richer conversation. If you’re at an event and your goal is to network, make sure you don’t over engage with any one person. Make a good impression and move on. You’ll have time to connect and further develop that relationship at a later time.
Becoming a master at small talk is not something that happens overnight. That said, if you make a point to consider these suggestions, you’ll notice immediate improvements in your ability to relate to others quickly. This welcomed change will prove beneficial not only in your professional world but in your personal life, as well.