Content provided by the Health & Wellness Team at GBS Benefits
Having meaningful and honest conversations is a significant way to elevate the level of trust you create with others. It will improve the quality of your interactions and help create genuine relationships.
For others to feel comfortable telling you about their struggles or problems, you need to develop authentic connections with those you care about. Knowing the R U OK? strategies described in this month’s newsletter are only helpful when others feel they can trust you. Being intentional with how you use your small talk can help pivot you into a more purposeful conversation rather than the typical tropes of weather, traffic, or sports. Continue reading for tips on how to create intentional conversations.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone. Small talk can be frightening or even feel painful. But making an effort to step out of your comfort zone will pay off in many ways. Start with a compliment or question and practice, practice, practice! If it doesn’t go well the first time, that’s okay but don’t give up.
Be Genuine. Offering a genuine compliment or commenting on a mutual interest can be an easy way to strike up a conversation. Notice other people’s strengths and tell them what you’ve observed. Is someone exceptionally creative or enthusiastic? Don’t keep that to yourself. Others are sure to appreciate the attention!
Be Intentional with Your Words. In general, most people want to connect with others. So, if there is something new or exciting going on in your life, share it! You may find you share a mutual hobby, that they also have a pet, or they enjoy the same restaurant you do. These can be great segues into meaningful conversations.
Listen to Connect. No matter what you are talking about, how you present yourself will ultimately make it or break it. Make sure you are listening. Offer nonverbal cues like a nod of the head and eye contact. What message is your body language sending? Try to avoid immediately judging, but aim to listen and build common ground.
Ask Questions. Not sure where to start? Try asking one of the following questions. What’s your story? What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? What is your favorite quality about yourself? Don’t be afraid to add some humor: “Would you rather talk like Batman or Mickey Mouse for the rest of your life?”