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Eight Cool Secrets to Making Conversation with Strangers
From:
Marsha Egan, CSP - Workplace Productivity Coach and E-mail Expert Marsha Egan, CSP - Workplace Productivity Coach and E-mail Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Nantucket , MA
Wednesday, September 18, 2019

 

This week, at our biweekly Coaching at the Corner chat, we talked about how to feel more comfortable making conversation with strangers. Yes. It can be awkward. Here are some helpful tips that can make your conversations enjoyable and synergistic.

1.       Engage. Before the conversation even starts, make yourself approachable. This means a simple smile and interested eye contact can be very welcoming to a stranger. Remember this person may feel as awkward as you do.

2.       Greeting. Just say “hello.” Smile as you say it, and viola – the conversation has started!

3.       No expectations. Upon entering a conversation, give yourself permission to not have to control the conversation. When you have no expectations about the outcome of the conversation, it takes the pressure off. I like to suggest that you “give control to the conversation.”

4.       Start. Find a common ground or a topic of general interest that has a high likely hood of being a welcome topic. These topics are easy to find – there is probably something of common ground in the situation itself. As an example, if you are at a Chamber of Commerce meeting, you might ask, “how long have you been involved in the chamber?” Non-emotional topics can also be great conversation starters.

5.       Open questions. When you start your conversation, ask open questions – those that require more of an answer then “yes” or “no.” This allows you to hear points that can be further pursued.

6.       LISTEN! Once you have started the conversation, your one most important strategy is to listen with interest. As Stephen Covey says, “listen to understand, not to respond.” Your ability to listen carefully will keep the conversation going and will most likely be interesting to both of you. I like to suggest that people wait until the person has finished the last word of their last sentence before responding. It can be a conversation killer if you step over them while they are talking.

7.       Make it about them. People feel more comfortable talking about themselves. When you ask questions about them – their interests, their likes, their dislikes, their passions, Their favorite restaurants, their hometown, you have a very high chance of both of you enjoying the conversation. After all – people a very interesting.

8.       Honest responses. If and when the conversation turns to you, give honest answers. Sometimes people give answers they think the other person wants to hear, risking the chance of the conversation going into a rabbit hole that isn’t how you truly feel about something

I like to think of a healthy conversation as being a dance between 2 people. When you dance, you move together. When you have a synergistic conversation, both of you will come out the better for it.

About Marsha Egan, CPCU, CSP, PCC, ICF-Certified CoachMarsha Egan, is CEO of the Egan Group, Inc., Nantucket MA and an internationally recognized professional speaker. She is a leading authority on email productivity. Her acclaimed ?12 Step Program for E-Mail E-ddiction? received international attention, being featured on ABC Nightly News, Fox News, and newspapers across the globe. In early 2009, the program was adapted into a book, Inbox Detox and the Habit of E-mail Excellence (Acanthus 2009 - http://InboxDetox.com/book) Marsha works with forward-thinking organizations that want to create a profit-rich and productive email culture. Marsha was named one of Pennsylvania?s Top 50 Women in Business in 2006.
 
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