Small talk for the career - 8 typical situations: whoever talks, wins

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Small talk - I can not, many think. Especially in Germany, where there is a tendency for the most profound conversations possible. Yet, Small Talk is not about unconditionally conceding to others: it's more about empathy and love. Best of HR –®

Here writes for you:


Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherConsultant and head of the Institute's job pictures Yourweb.


Undivided attention

It is perhaps the most revealing insight on small talk Best of HR –®-author Cornelia Topf there in your post delivers:

When we are in a group, each with a cocktail glass in hand, there is nothing better, warmer and more uplifting than the feeling: “Wow! They all listen to me! And they love me! They love me! ” Anyone who has not yet reflected on this will never understand why we all want so much small talk skills. It is the most powerful of all human motives: undivided, genuine, honest recognition.

Small Talk for the career

The catch is that you can win this attention only poorly quasi-planned. And that we usually do not know how to get into a nice, rather unconstrained and positive conversation.

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Especially small-talk situations can help to make important contacts and thus advance one's own career - if you observe a few rules.

Typical situations

Secretly you envy the colleagues who manage to always have a friendly word on their lips in good spirits, which are popular with all - and thus always get the most interesting projects. Instead, the reality is usually pretty embarrassing:

  • In the morning on the way to work, where you mute the colleagues in the train or bus mute.
  • In the cafeteria or in the copying-room, where one waits with silence.
  • Or in the hallway, where one quickly moves past the colleague without changing another word.
  • So you are standing with tens of colleagues in the elevator, no one says a word, everyone stares enter the door.

Who can talk is clearly in the advantage

Who is able to talk is clearly in the advantage. Studies show that professional success depends only on 10 percent of the performance, 30 percent of the image, and 60 percent of the senior's level of awareness.

So, if you're a small talk, you'll be familiar with your colleagues and your superiors so you can promote your career. And which moments would be better for small talk than the many small vacancies, in which one meets the colleagues anyway?

Pressure makes conversation difficult

The fact that it is so hard for many people to fill the breaks is because one often puts pressure on oneself: instead of simply starting an entertaining session, one often feels that something special has to be said.

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Quite a few are afraid what the other of them might think when they give themselves a nakedness. This is often overlooked: no one expects profound remarks on science, politics or art. Most people want to relax in the small talk, do not solve difficult problems.

Do not be afraid of fat

Even who gets into the wrong place: Other people have forgotten something faster than you think. Even a refusal is not a devastating judgment of the person. On the other hand, if you can still laugh at yourself, your sympathies will be on your side. So the embarrassment usually takes place in your own head. Start small talk right

Small talk is important for the career. We will give you a few examples of how to start a simple conversation in typical office situations. The main principle: Do not have any inhibitions, just get started!

10 typical situations and how you react best

  1. In the elevator: No one is distracted in the elevator, but most people find the situation uncomfortable. Get in right here: “We always meet here. It only takes ten floors, but at least. Which department do you work in? ”
  2. In the parking lot: In the parking lot there is an ideal topic of conversation especially for men: cars. Just ask your colleague: “Oh, you own this great car? I admire him all the time! ”
  3. By bus or train station: You meet the same colleague on the train or bus every day, but you don't know what to say? Scold the train together - that connects: “Sometimes the train is late, but it's less stressful than driving - don't you think?”
  4. Before the meeting: Even before a meeting, most participants just sit around and wait for the start. A good opportunity to talk about the topic of the upcoming or last meeting: “Last week we really achieved a lot. I'm curious to see how it goes today. ”
  5. In the hallway: The hallway is a good place to start a conversation with your colleague. Talk about how things are going at work. Or what there is in the canteen today: “Had stress today? I'm curious to see what there is good food today. We really deserve it. ”
  6. In the copy room: In the copy room it is usually wonderful to be annoyed about the technology together: “There is now a paper jam again. Do you know how to do that? ”
  7. In the canteen: The food is a good topic of conversation because it is innocuous. Just ask your colleagues in line in front of you: “What would you recommend: the tortellini or the chicken breast?” Perhaps this will result in a nice table conversation about Italian food or Italian table culture. ”
  8. At the company party: Talk about the company's success. Or simply about the music, the food, the drinks, etc. Important: Always positive, never complaining about superiors: “Isn't that great for us Manager organized there? He has every reason to be happy when things are going so well. The music is really great! But are there still salmon rolls? ”

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