The Unnecessary But Needful Art Of 'Small Talk' With Your Co-workers Is A Real Thing
Lingering around the elevator lobby with music blaring out of your headphones, desperately praying that you don’t bump into a fellow colleague, is a feeling all of us know too well. For the millennial bunch, small talk is a gateway to an anxious breakdown and we go out of our ways (sometimes literally) to avoid it.
For the lot of us who can relate to this, carrying out day-to-day activities at work become a tough bridge to cross. From getting coffee from the pantry, to going to the bathroom to answer nature’s call, small talk follows us like a predator waiting to kill its prey.
The “Hi, how are you?” is our biggest fear and what follows is a redundant answer leading to nowhere. For people who detest small talk, the question doesn’t even make sense to begin with, because no one in their sane mind would go - “I’m not good. How are you?”
While it is considered polite to make conversation with your fellow employees, acknowledging them silently should also be socially acceptable. However, it is definitely easier said than done because not everyone will have the same approach to the concept.
Most people also avoid this interaction because they have this fear that they will end up saying something dumb and make matters worse. This is a very real worry that people have, especially since we need to be extra cautious of what we say in the workplace anyway.
HOWEVER, the downside to this is that you will fail at developing connections with your colleagues which can further hamper your growth at work. No one likes a grumpy coworker and your actions might just cost you the next appraisal.
Psychologists believe that developing a rapport in your place of work is of significant importance since having a sense of personal connection with your coworkers drastically affects your work. It gives the other person a humane approach to you and things automatically take a smoother turn for good.
Being on good terms with your coworkers is a very safe space to be in. Small talk is a part of work culture and your professional is not just determined by your work quality but also on the basis of you as a person -- How you function as a team player, your rapport with others, your relationship with your boss etc.
There are several ways one can master the art of office chit-chat, and all you need to do is follow some basic rules.
#1 Don’t avoid people. It looks extremely rude. If you don’t want to engage in conversations about the weather, just greet them and continue doing what you were doing. That way, you’ve acknowledged them without making them feel uncomfortable in your presence.
#2 Always remember that you aren’t the only one who could be uncomfortable; the other person might also be on the same page.
#3 Take extra caution when it’s a person who in a position of authority. Bosses and managers don’t have the habit of being overlooked by their juniors - wishing them a good day or just simply saying hello, is going to be helpful for you.
#4 You don’t necessarily have to talk about things you don’t want to. The best part about small talk is that there is no direction. If you don’t like what the other person is saying, switch.
Remember these simple guidelines and make matters easier for you and others around you.
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