The pandemic took a toll on our ability to make small talk. It’s not something you probably even thought about before, but after spending a lot of time at home some of us have lost our edge when it comes to chatting with strangers. If the thought of approaching someone new, whether in a job interview, networking event or coffee shop has you reeling,Entrepreneur suggests that you brush up on your small talk skills.
Gloria Nightingall of Trigger Conversations puts the burden of responsibility on both the initiator and the responder. She says, “Small talk can be dull. But that’s because most people don’t understand what it’s for. It’s not the conversation. It’s the opener for a better conversation.”
In other words, instead of asking someone, “How was your day,” ask “What did you do today?” That leaves room for an open-ended answer that could lead to more conversation.
You can also make a statement instead of asking a question. “That was a beautiful sunset today” allows for someone to reciprocate with their own feelings. And, like anything else, practice makes perfect.