DW Hot List

Being able to chitchat can not only help you connect with managers, colleagues, and clients, it can also improve your well-being, according to a 2021 study by University of Kansas researchers. Here’s how to initiate and participate in these light conversations more effectively.

Pursue new interests. Volunteer. Take a class. Read New York Times bestsellers. Attend a new exhibition. Not only might you find new interests, you’ll also have topics that form connections and grease the conversational wheels.

Research attendees in advance. If you know whom you’ll be speaking with, see if they’ve mentioned interests on social media that you can use to launch a conversation.

Leverage the chat function in virtual meetings. Use those moments when you’re waiting for the team meeting to begin to privately message someone you want to build a relationship with. Familiarize yourself with the technology beforehand so you don’t accidently message the entire group.

Prepare conversation starters. Ask for movie or restaurant recommendations or delve into hobbies. Steer clear of politics and religion.

Ask follow-up questions. Listening is crucial to successful small talk. The best way to show you’re listening is to ask questions based on what the other person says. You’ll keep the conversation flowing and strengthen the connection in the process.

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