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Does Christmas party small talk make you cringe?

Here are some tips for you!
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Does Christmas party small talk make you cringe?

Does Christmas party small talk make you cringe?

22 November 2017

This article orginally appeared on ABC News.

With Christmas parties coming up, does the thought of small talk make you cringe?

If so, you’re not alone.

Awkward chit chat is disliked by many however it is a necessary aspect of social interaction and requires practice. A Christmas party is an ideal situation to practice meaningful conversation.

"Small talk is necessary because it's the critical foundation for building a connection and then a relationship," Jen Harwood, business coach, motivational speaker and author, told ABC Radio Canberra.

"You can talk business and that's a transaction, whereas small talk is the relational part of any interaction and any deal; whether the deal is becoming friends, doing business, hiring someone for a job, you've got to be able to share who you are as a human being as well as being able to talk technically”.

"Small talk can make or break a career, an opportunity or a connection, and that's why people have to practice it," Ms. Harwood said.

Try and connect with others by asking questions to find common ground and ensure you're sincere. This is crucial when trying to connect with others. 

It is also important to be comfortable with silence. You don't have to throw in words unnecessarily; instead nodding to acknowledge you're listening is sufficient. 

Don’t forget everyone is in the same boat, some may feel more comfortable with small talk, however, everyone has been in an uncomfortable situation at some point.

Tips:

  • Smile

  • Find common ground

  • Share an observation

  • Be genuine and sincere 

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