You know when you meet someone -- for an interview, or your client, or a new client, anybody -- how the first few moments of the meeting are..... awkward? When you don't know what to say, how to start. Getting straight to the point can be considered rude by some people..and you don't want that! Do you know how small talk is an opportunity for you to be a better colleague, a better businesswoman, and stand out from the crowd? Read on then, lady...
You are used to talking in German, because you have spent most of your time in Germany, and most of the people you know are Germans!
I have just stated the obvious. I know.
But I needed to remind you of the truth of it so you can understand that this is not what constitutes the whole of the big, big world.
So, when you want to grow, it can, and should, be beyond Germany and German-speaking cultures!
Doesn’t it inspire you to think that you could be living and working anywhere in the world and not just working but actually thriving?
Most important: Understanding people
Whether you’re in a job or you have your own business, growth is something every woman should seriously consider herself capable of, and more importantly, deserving of. And for that kind of success, you must understand people very well.
"Every woman is capable of and deserves GROWTH!"
I have lived, worked and travelled in many countries and I can tell you that people are the same everywhere yet they are also very different. Confusing, I know but that’s the truth.
So, you’ve got to be a smart woman and understand people because understanding people actually will give you an edge – an edge in business, an edge outside business.
The challenges of valuable Small-Talk
One of the very sharp ways of growing your understanding about people is small talk.
Small talk is what you do when you meet someone (for a meeting or on Skype) and you talk about little things before getting to the actual point.
But most people waste it!
Admit it. I know you might have done it too.
Do you talk about the weather? O I love the weather today! Thank God it’s sunny. How’s the weather in your town today?
Most of us know that this is just small talk and so we just give general answers (like ‘yeah!’, ‘right!’). No one can get excited about talking about weather. Come on!
5 phrases for smarter small talk
So, how about I suggest you to start being a smarter woman than you are now, and use your small talk to actually understand more about the person you’re talking to?
Do small talk with purpose!
Try to gather information through it, information that you can use to understand people better and do better work with them.
Ask smarter questions. Build better relationships.
Did you read a news article on your client’s industry recently? Did you read anything interesting there? Talk about that. Or try to figure out how much do they know about technology, what kind of books they’re reading, etc.
1. "I was on my way to the meeting and when I saw the traffic, I was horrified because I thought I’m going to be 10 minutes late."
Their response to this will tell you how seriously they take punctuality.
2. "So many of my clients want to send me details via whatsapp and I have to keep reminding them, emails are more sane for me! But seems like I need to remind them again (smile)."
Giving them a work ethic you want to work with, indirectly.
3. "Whenever I have an important meeting, I read a book before. This morning I was reading <name of the book> and got so engrossed, I lost track of the time."
Their response to this will let you know what they read, how much in touch they are with popular culture.
4. "I just discovered this lovely mobile app yesterday – it helps you manage your accounts online. I’m in love with it."
See how they respond to it. This will tell you how their usage of modern apps is and whether they use modern tech for their businesses too.
5. "This past hour I was researching on new places to go on a holiday for.. I adore the oceans but I want to make sure the weather will be warm… Planning holidays is fun, right?"
Their response to this will show you their social enthusiasm level and what kind of activities & holidays they like to do.
Think of more. There can be many more. And use the information to give better service to people or to be a better colleague.
"Use the information to give better service to people!"
Hope this helps us all ask smarter questions to do better business and build better business relationships around us. And not be boring, predictable and pointless in our small talk.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask in the comments below!
Did my tips help you?