There are SO many things on your plate right now that having another conversation with [insert that person’s name here – oh, you know who they are!] seems unbearable.
Yes – they deserve your respect, and you DO respect them. But talking to them is just. so. BORING. It feels like you have nothing in common and you’d rather undergo a root canal than getting stuck talking with them at the company happy hour again.
This week we have the treat of having Coach Brooke O’Shea with us to share some tips on what to do if you are talking to someone who you are finding boring.
Take it away, Brooke!
From time to time we all find ourselves in scenarios where it is difficult to make meaningful connections with others. I would encourage you to ask yourself a few questions when in these situations:
- First, what is your desired goal of engaging with this individual?
- Second, what is your counterpart’s potential goal of engaging with you?
- Third, are the difficulties you are experiencing based on language barriers, personality types, beliefs, gender, generational differences, etc.?
- AND finally, have you considered all options in finding common ground?
Assuming that you and the other party have mutual benefits for connecting, the next step is to consider what barriers you are encountering in finding a common interest.
While exercising caution to avoid becoming an interrogator, continue to ask open-ended questions around topics you enjoy until you find that thing that the other person’s eyes light up about! I personally find that by asking more questions, I can typically find a topic we both find passion around.
My “tip” for those who find small talk awkward, prepare a few subjects that interest you ahead of finding yourself in those difficult social situations. Plan to discuss a current book you are reading, a TV show, an exercise routine, upcoming travel plans, the town where you grew up, or where you hope to retire – those can get your juices flowing!
Let us know how these tips work for you!