Striking up conversations at work with colleagues and customers is a 'must have' soft skill that will mark you out as someone who cares, engages and is positive person to be around. But sometimes, starting making small talk can be a challenge. Well not any more! We have come up 10 great great conversation starters to get you talking at work.
1. Ask open-ended questions - They will elicit more than a "yes" or "no" answer and they will encourage a flow of conversation
2. "What are you doing this weekend?" - A great opener on a Thursday or Friday. It shows you care and are interested to listen.
3. "What did you get up to this weekend?" - A great conversation opener on a Monday. It opens up the conversation that invites others to join in with.
4. Ask for help - This shows that you are vulnerable and are open-minded to better ways of working. It will also make the person you asked feel good that you ask them before anyone else.
5. Offer help - Seek out a colleague or newbie at work and offer help in an area your are knowledgeable about.
6. Talk about the great restaurant you ate in last night - This shows you're sociable outside of work as well as inside work.
7. "Did you watch ....... last night?" - Discuss a popular programme, sports event or movie. This will give people an idea about your interests and you about theirs.
8. Talk about your latest problem client or project - Work related chit-chat is something that colleagues can empathise with and contribute to.
9. Talk about something new you've been trying (e.g. hiking, learning an instrument, a new book) - This allows you to ask others about their own interests or hobbies.
10. Ask others where they are going on holiday / have been on holiday - Use this as a tool for recommendations as well as open-ended small talk.
Use any of the above ideas as a way of generating interesting and meaningful conversations at work. These 10 ideas are brilliant in their simplicity as they are open-ended so they elicit a response that is thought through and (hopefully) interesting.