The Nobel Prize knocked out?
The physicist Richard P. Feynman once said that he had almost knocked out the Nobel Prize. Not because he considered academic dignity to be undeserved. But because he was afraid of the small talk.
Fact: The thought of having to talk casually at the subsequent reception with ministers, princesses and diplomats, Feynman in sheer panic, "What should I talk to them?" Shot in the well.
Small talk has nothing to do with intelligence
Although most people think they have to say something particularly smart when talking about small talk, it has nothing to do with intelligence. On the contrary, if even the brightest minds on the planet panic at the thought of small talk, it's not surprising that most "normal" people are the same:
We stand there like the ox in front of the mountain, do not get a sound out, or tell us all the tricks and bruise ourselves to the bone. At least we are afraid.
Fear of sinking in the ground
This fear also seizes Hans, 37 years, production manager. In the coffee break of a meeting, he takes an interested look at the new colleague from Customer Support, who stands three meters away at the coffee table. Jürgen, the chief controller, shakes his head: "Now talk to her!" Hans is embarrassed and says: "What should I say? 'Do we know each other somewhere?' I'd rather kill it dead. "
An apt phrase that relatively precisely describes the emotions that assail us at such moments: we would like to sink into the ground. Alone at the thought of small talk. And then several times during the small talk, when we have "once again brought the stupidest spell that is conceivable!"
The fear of disgrace
"Help, I'm embarrassing myself!" - that probably shoots many people through the head, which are said to be as informal as possible to entertain with the motto "Just say what comes to mind .." Oh God ...
For the fear of embarrassment, of failure, of being exposed, of rejection, of ridicule and of "Huch, I can not think of anything now!" Paralyzes most people of Western civilization.
Even executives are afraid
But the good thing is: do not think about it! Almost everyone is like that. Men and women Gatekeepers such as board members.
Everyone is afraid of embarrassment. That's the problem. And the solution: If you're afraid of embarrassment, then all we have to do is find topics, openers, first sentences that are 100% embarrassing. Is that there? Yes, there is:
Just no killerphrases!
What do small talk lay people do instead?
- They say memorized killer phrases: "Do we know each other somewhere?"
- Or make stupid compliments: "Pretty necklace."
Those who work with such sets from the moth-crate, but rightly afraid of Small Talk: This always goes wrong. I give you a guarantee. Forget about phrases! Choose a subject.
That's why so many people talk about the weather: this subject matter always stings! Maybe that's too tapped for you. Hans also: "Is there nothing else?"
The most obvious Sachthema is always good!
Just because it is obvious and therefore connects both conversation partners. This is the first thing in common! And commonalities strengthen a conversation. What is Hans's closest topic? Now, where is he now? Right, in the meeting pause.
So he finally gives himself a kick, takes a deep breath, goes over the five steps over to the new colleague and says: "How do you cope with customer support with the new standards presented by our well-respected sales manager?" Well, then. Go then. Why? Because Hans thought about getting in contact and informed himself?
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