How to Start a Conversation & what to avoid

How to Start a Conversation in the Workplace?

How to start a conversation? try to start a topic about sports,news, Favorite movies, TV series they are watching and you will easily find people who have same idea or hobbies as you

For various reasons, when a newcomer starts a new job, there will always be some small accidents in the working area. The root cause is problems in communication with colleagues and bosses. We can imagine a hypothetical scenario. When you are in an elevator with your colleagues and are speechless, you can choose to lower your head and use your mobile phone to send messages, talk with family and friends, or browse web information. To some extent, you may feel that the only connection between you and your colleagues is work. However, if you try to start a topic with colleagues, bosses, sport news, or some desirable things, you will easily find people who have the same ideas or hobbies as you.

Your personality can be extroverted, introverted, or somewhere in between. However, a different conversation that you try to start will bring you a brand-new experience, and no matter what your personality is. Whether you are trying to adapt to your workplace identity or meet some new professional contacts, the ability to initiate conversations is an excellent skill for building connections and relationships. Despite the first time, you start a correct topic with someone is a stimulating challenge overthinking this issue will also make you nothing. Although criteria is a frightful word, they do not require you to be a talented chat player for any of the following topics. Because at the beginning or end of the day, a simple conversation is half the battle. Thus, what are some methods to help you successfully start a topic with someone in the workplace?

The first entry into the workplace

When you enter the workplace for the first time and start your first conversation, keep the conversation simple. Here, greeting and then introducing yourself is a good choice. However, after the first few sentences, there may be an awkward silence. Here is what you need to do is to start an open-ended question and invite the other party to continue discussing with you. After the two parties have finished introducing themselves, it is time to invite each other to answer a question about yes, no, or a simple answer. For example, you can ask how long you have been working in this position? Your colleague may answer that for more than a year. Then you went back to silence with your colleagues again. When you choose to ask something like the reason that you choose to work in this position, you will get a series of answers. It does not only provide you with an opportunity to listen, but you can also respond with your own experience. In this way, the relationship between you and your colleagues around you will have some signals about icebreaking before you know it.

Besides, you can ask your seniors or colleagues for help as appropriate. Asking for help is the easiest way to talk to others while work is in progress, and it is also a great way to let people around you know that you have put in your energy to work hard. At the same time, when you ask a colleague about work, it shows to a large extent how much you trust your colleague’s knowledge. The way that you ask them about the work will increase their confidence in the ability to work and increases their affection for you. In any case, you may still need the help of a new job, so why not use them as a way to get to know your colleagues around you?

When you first entered the workplace, one more thing to note is that you should listen more and talk less. Sometimes, it is difficult to listen to someone’s thoughts. Because we have some ideas or opinions that we want to express at once before we ignore them. However, listening is the most effective intermediary for us to establish contact with colleagues around us because this approach can inspire others to share their real thoughts and feelings. If you want to be an excellent conversationalist, your listening will be your help. By listening, you will ask questions that others like to answer so that other people will feel respected during the chat with you. Here is a small episode here that we need to pay attention to is that changing the content of the chat through too many speeches or shifting the focus to us may immediately terminate the conversation. What we need to do is to have a finish a topic and then start another one. In this way, it can help us to get the approval of others.

In addition, a kind smile is the best way for you to express kindness to others. Smiling is the most important nonverbal reminder we can give others. A professor of psychology at Yale University once said in a book that a smile produces a flow of emotions in people who see it, which is usually a subconscious flow. When you are talking to others and smiling, your colleagues around you will have varying degrees of affection and will be more willing to communicate with you.

When you and your colleagues become familiar

After you work in a company for some time, you become familiar with your colleagues around you. At this time, you can change the content of chatting with people around you so that your direct relationship becomes closer than before. For example, you can start a conversation centered on the weekend. You can ask about weekend arrangements on Monday or Friday. It is a topic that is not offensive, and there is no sense of rashly inquiring into the privacy of others. On the contrary, it can also help you get to know your colleagues from different angles, and if you are lucky, you can also discover the common interests between you.

You can also choose to discuss popular culture, current affairs, news, and other topics in your leisure time. When you mention a recent movie, sports competition, and TV series, these are good topics to help you get closer to others. Because this can help you and your colleagues find the story types, directors, actors of movies, or TV series of common hobbies. It can also be sports that you like together. Of course, if you are on a topic like a sports competition, you need to be careful to mention the team you support. If your colleagues support a different team, this may also cause unnecessary disputes between you.

Similarly, you can also choose to discuss current affairs issues. If you have the habit of reading newspapers or public news accounts when you commute, you can ask at the right time if anyone has heard of recent events and share them with colleagues who may be interested. On the other hand, industry news will be a more concentrated source of dialogue. Knowing the latest information on topics related to your industry and department is essential. In addition to allowing, you to find some comfortable conversations with one or more of your colleagues, you can also learn something in the process of collecting information.

If you are temporarily unable to find a suitable way, you can start a conversation by complimenting a certain characteristic of your work partner. The reason for this is that you can always find something about the colleague you want to chat with to attract their attention. It may be their glasses, clothes, or a new nail polish color, but no matter which one it is, it is enough to give you a comfortable start to your colleague’s chat. Besides, you can start more discussions besides talking about where you bought things. You can choose to ask about the place of purchase or extend the topic to daily life.

However, even if an employee has worked for a long time and often discusses some topics which have no relevance to work with colleagues during working hours, people around him will be considered lax and unprofessional after a long time. During the office conversations, what you need to do is try to avoid becoming the center of any topic you speak around. Because this behavior will let your boss notice you and have a bad influence on your reputation. Then the best way is to divert everyone’s attention to other topics all the time. Of course, talking about your relationship is not a good idea either. No one wants or has time to hear about your latest battle with your boyfriend or mother. It would be a good choice to leave it to friends outside of work. Other personal topics such as religious or political opinions may not be a good idea to raise in the workplace. You never want to make another person uncomfortable, so choose your topic to match your audience. To do this, you need to take the time to understand the people you work with, which helps to increase your job satisfaction. Sometimes, it is always fun to have one or two friends in the workplace. Besides, you will never have too many friends, so it is not necessary to spend a lot of time to make everyone satisfied with what you do. 

Topics to avoid in the workplace

In the workplace, not all topics are suitable for chatting between you and your colleagues. It is because everyone is reluctant to touch or communicate deeply with strangers. The first one is about politics. Not everyone has the same beliefs, so talking about politics is likely to cause controversy. Especially during the election season, you may often hear people mention the candidates they support and their parties. At this time, we’d better avoid using topics that can cause strong emotions, especially if you don’t know your colleagues well. It can help you avoid unnecessary disputes in the workplace. The second is religious topics. For many people, religious belief is a very personal belief. It does not belong to the category of being probed and explored by others. It is part of private life, that is, life outside of work. Even if your religion is important to you, you should try to avoid talking about it at work. However, if you accidentally touch this topic in the chat, you can choose to answer only yes or no, and then move on to the next part or terminate the topic for the next task.

Also, the topic which mentions relationship status should be involved as much as possible. In some countries or regions, it is common to ask others if they are married. However, in the US workplace, you should try to avoid asking such questions. Because if the person you have spoken to is single, divorced, or widowed, it may cause discomfort to them. It may cause you to stop the conversation and create a deadlock. Your interpersonal relationship status is considered part of your private life. It is perfectly normal if you do not mention any relationship outside of work. Nevertheless, during the chat, if your colleagues naturally mention some daily trivia about their partner or their plans and arrangements for the weekend then you can appropriately ask this person about some life details, the relationship between their partners, and family’s funny things. After that, you can transfer the topic to an appropriate work-related task. While, if you have no idea about what kind of topic you want to discuss, and you think it is difficult to talk about each other’s current status then you can naturally avoid this topic, which is also normal in work conversations.

Topics related to family, try not to be mentioned too frequently at work. In workplace conversations, unless your colleague has specifically mentioned his child to you, you should avoid talking about your workmate’s family. Because when your colleagues voluntarily mention to you that they have children or are married, it shows that when the family questions you ask are more common, they are willing to take the initiative to answer this question. In this situation, you can choose some more neutral questions. For example, you can ask about their children’s interests, hobbies, or recent activities. These problems, and do not involve too much personal privacy, are also some relatively peaceful problems, and your colleagues will not be disgusted with them. One thing to note here is that please do not ask married colleagues about family planning. This question is considered extremely rude in American culture. In this question, you are suspected of proactively inquiring into the privacy of others. When your colleagues hear about this problem, in addition to being disgusted, they will also have a bad impression of you. These include inadequate speech, gossip, low emotional intelligence, etc. When your behavior reaches the ears of other work partners, they may choose to chat with you as little as possible so that there will be fewer conflicts.

Another point is that you should try to avoid health issues in your topic. When you and your colleagues still inevitably talk about health issues, in addition to talking about mild symptoms such as colds, allergies, and diarrhea, you should try to turn to another topic. By the way, you should still try to avoid asking any questions about your colleagues’ health problems. There are many laws to protect people’s health and privacy issues. It is a smart choice to avoid talking about this issue as much as possible. On the other hand, suggestions about diet or exercise may not help you get a good impression on the conversation. Instead, talking about this topic will make your colleagues feel anxious about their health problems.

Wonderful dialogue adds charm to work

Having an interesting conversation in the workplace is a worthy thing trying, and you will get treasures out of it. There are many interesting people around us. They can stimulate our thinking, bring us different work inspirations, and add extra meaning to our work life.

When you start a conversation with a new colleague who does not know anything about it, finding common interests can immediately stimulate your vitality. You guys may discuss how to contribute to the open-source community, are keen on solving problems, are interested in designing systems, and are full of code passion, and so on. It is as happy as meeting someone from the same place in a foreign country. What you need to do is to click and connect immediately, grab that weak link, and possibly eventually establish a connection with people as you invest more time and energy in your relationship. A newly discovered connection adds positivity to your work life, and it can help you share ideas and learn from each other in the work which is important to you. Also, what you need to find are suitable ways to expand your mindset. Here, what you need to do is that talking to a colleague from another cross-functional department may make you wonder about a problem that has plagued you for a long time. It is because a big innovation is usually. After all, an outsider’s inadvertent sentence gave the inventor inspiration and ideas to complete these projects. Talking with people with different backgrounds and domain knowledge can also help you draw ideas from these areas, expand your ideas beyond the scope of competence. It can help you build new thinking models to solve problems and make better Decision-making. More conversations can change your way of thinking from being fixed as an expert to appreciating the value of a generalist.

In addition to establishing the same links with colleagues and expanding your thinking, you also need to distract your attention. After a high concentration of work, your brain also needs a moment of relaxation. At this time, meaningful dialogue with colleagues is a good choice. This method helps you relax your brain and prepare for the next high-quality work. Deliberately maintaining the enthusiasm of these conversations when you need it can distract you and help you improve your work efficiency. They can also be a source of creative outflow by helping you shift your focus from the problem of providing space for the brain to establish new connections. Distraction is not always a bad thing. If you encounter some problems, it may hinder your work process. Distractions may provide rest time when you need to move your attention away from ineffective solutions.

Furthermore, you can try to communicate with colleagues to understand the essential characteristics of some things. It can help you eliminate prejudiced thinking. Because only when you take the time to understand prejudice and try to transcend prejudice, your perception of your workmates will change.  Your attribution bias may come into play when you quickly attribute someone’s behavior at work to their character defects without considering their situational factors. When you interact and chat with colleagues who can understand, you will be able to reasonably understand why people express their thoughts in certain ways or perform certain behaviors. This makes it easier for you to make better collaboration strategies, instead of conflicting with colleagues or avoiding problems with colleagues, causing more losses. When you have a misunderstanding about something, reasonable communication may help you. You explain your reasons for doing certain things, or misunderstandings about certain things, through conversations and interactions with colleagues. Through communication, you can make your career path smooth and motivated.

In short, as an employee who is new to the workplace or is already familiar with workplace work, having an attractive dialogue with your colleagues or boss is a good option to get to know each other. Under constant communication, some unnecessary misunderstandings will be solved. Moreover, it can also help you relax your brain under high-intensity work. In the process of communication, you also have a great chance to get one or several like-minded friends. In addition, the most attractive aspect of workplace communication is that through frequent communication, employees can form a tacit understanding at work and increase their trust in each other. The most important thing is that under continuous communication between employees, they can make up for their shortcomings and gain more knowledge. It will enable them to continuously innovate in their work and provide novel ideas and suggestions for their work. Therefore, good communication in the workplace will create more opportunities for the entire market.

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