Starting a Conversation

5 Easy Steps To Start A Conversation With Strangers

For some of us starting a conversation or small talk is actually something major. We admired the friends and colleagues who can just strike up a conversation with strangers. You could call it their superpower. They speak to these strangers as if they knew them forever. However, for some of us, it’s incredibly difficult to strike up a conversation. Especially if you’re an introvert. So here are some tips to help you start a conversation:

Ask For Input Or Guidance

A clever way to connect with someone and start a conversation is with a request for advice: “I’m looking at travelling to Europe, but I have no idea where to start, do you perhaps know which country would be the best to visit first?”. You see, most people love to help others, not only is advice free, but it’s a very big connector. This will make the other person feel that he/she has done something useful or added value to you, almost like a friend who has helped out another friend in a small way. The thinking behind this is that if you ask for advice, you create a closeness, and that makes rejection difficult. So, if you want to make an impact on someone, ask for advice first.

Ask A Follow-Up Question

Asking a follow-up question is a conversation starter if you just waiting for the other person to ask their question it could become awkward and make the flow of the conversation very rigid. If you ask him/her “where were you born?” or “where did you grow up?” a good second question could be “Was it a close community?” or “How did it impact your life?”

Listen To What They Have To Say

Presentation is key and how you present yourself matters. Do you come across as someone with low energy, which in turn will have an effect on the stranger and bring out their low energy as well, or do you come across as arrogant, a know it all? It’s important to enter a conversation not only to talk but also to listen with an expectation and excitement to possibly learn something from the other person. Depending on the conversation which could be impactful or not, the vital takeaway here is that people can forget what you spoke of but not how they felt in your presence.

Don’t Ask “What’s Your Career”

There are people who love what they do and those who absolutely hate what they do, then there are those who don’t have jobs and are ashamed and a bit lost when this question is posed to them. Instead, try to ask it in a different way that is non-confronting and will not embarrass the other person if they’re not in a good space. Rephrase the question by asking” What’s keeping you busy these days” the question is much more open-ended and gives the other person the freedom to choose how to answer the question.  

Focus On The Other Person’s Interest

Stay clear about starting conversations that interest you, people talk about themselves to the point where the other person shuts off halfway through the conversation and stares at you with a screen saver glare. You’re not pitching, you’re trying to have a conversation with someone. Listen with intensity, everyone knows something that we don’t know.  

The next time you find yourself in a situation where you have to start a conversation, keep these tips in mind. One day you will be the person your friends admire for starting a conversation with a stranger. So, go ahead and start a conversation today it could be your NEW SUPERPOWER.

 

Robbin McCullen, Your Venture Coach and Biggest Fan
Tatiana Cross, Your Uniqueness Is Your Power

P.S. If you’re looking to grow your success and move to the next level contact me today.

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