Small talk and leadership rhetoric: Top managers have a hard time

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Top managers have a particularly hard time because the more the (real or educated) rank is, the more likely a non-committal contact fails. What can help? Smile and take yourself not too important.

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Dr. Cornelia Topf Best of HR –®Dr. Cornelia Topf is a certified business coach and international management trainer.


From the author:




Who smiles, is intelligent

The golden rule of small talk: smile, smile, smile! What for? The greatest fear of small talk is that of the refusal to be considered unsympathetic. Well, a smiling face always looks sympathetic. Always and everywhere.

Those who smile appear measurably more intelligent. For real! Ask any ethnologist. Those who are nervous do not smile and convey their insecurity to the contact person, who they via Spiegelneurons back promptlyspiegelt: Contact failed. Unfortunately, the higher your (real or imagined) rank, the more likely it is to fail.

Top managers have a hard time

Board members have a hard time with small talk. Because they often carry their title in front of sheer uncertainty or urgency and thus provoke at most submissiveness, but do not set in motion a small par tic talk. But: Small Talk and Wichtigtun nunmal not tolerate.

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Unless you forget your rank for a moment and pretend to be “normal”. “Wow”, small talk partners usually say afterwards: “Our board is a completely normal person. Actually quite personable! I never thought! ” Resounding success!

Forgot your rank and title

And that's just because one time rank and title for ten minutes at the back, smiled and took a little on his own. That depends! That seems sympathetic. And: sovereign!

Most dignitaries who are anxious about seriousness forget that. Because they have not read their Laotse: "Only a truly great man makes himself small."

What do you have to think, too?

Because small talk also means to respond to the other. But that is exactly what many managers have problems with.

Many of them sum up their small talk problem with the question: “What can I say?” The answer is: "Make up something!" It's more than a stupid answer. Because it means: first think, then talk!

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Enter the others

At the hotel bar, a group of aircraft construction engineers discovered a group of attractive trade fair hostesses chilling after work at the hotel bar. None of the men dares: “What can I say? They are certainly not interested in aircraft construction! ”

That is also correct: Helmut therefore forgets for a moment the aircraft construction, takes off his watch, puts it in his pocket, goes over to the bar and asks: "Excuse me, does one of you happen to have the exact time?"

Prelude and retreat

Two of the hostesses look bored, two others swing up their left arm. Success! What if all four had bored? Then Helmut would have applied his second and third subject, which he had set up.

If the girls do not jump on it, they are guilty and not small-talk-suited. Then you retreat with a smile and a polite farewell, so as not to embarrass your opponent any more.

3 Tips for Small Talk: Do not be so serious!

After Helmut has found out the time, he says: “I'm a little embarrassed now. I get planes to fly, but I can't keep a watch on my arm. ” Which is not a lie.

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  • Before you small talken: Get a topic right! One? Two to three are better.
  • But: Do not get bored with your specialty! Unless you can tell them exciting anecdotes, which every layman finds entertaining.
  • Humor, quiet self-irony, not to take himself seriously - the perfect tool for contact and small talk.

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