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Discussion on: The Introvert's Guide to Small Talk

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ruvans profile image
Ruth Evans

Thank you for sharing, I hate small talk but I've been practising and it's getting easier. I read a book called 'How to talk to anyone' and picked up some tricks,

  • Use their name
    People like to hear their name and it shows that you know who they are.

  • Never use a naked answer
    When someone asks you a question and you want to continue the conversation try not to give a plain or one-word answer.
    e.g. When Jane from QA asks if you have any pets, instead of saying 'no' say 'no, I'd like a cat but I'm allergic' or 'no, but I'd love to get a Labrador some day'.

  • Get a conversation piece
    As mentioned above, it's an good way to start a conversation so if you need to network try to have or wear something that will give people an easy way to start a conversation with you. A pokemon pin could help you find someone with common interests, a 'I <3 python' sticker on your laptop might lead to a job offer, who knows!

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loilo profile image
Florian Reuschel

People like to hear their name [...]

That's a scientifically proven fact, right?

Because I, personally, find it rather annoying. My boss is doing it all the time, but I may just dislike it because I know he's been trained to do so back when he worked in a callcenter. It probably only works as long as it seems genuine.

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ruvans profile image
Ruth Evans

Not a fact, just a generalisation. Sorry your boss is using yours in a way that feels uncomfortable.

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loilo profile image
Florian Reuschel

In his defense, he's not using it in a creepy way or anything like that. But he explicitely told us he learned to do so at work in a callcenter – which leads to kind of automatically associating it with some subtle way of manipulation.

Anyway, from their perspective (a marketing perspective) this probably makes sense if it's well-received on average.