As we have been stuck in a pandemic longer and longer, and we have grown accustomed to using technology to stay connected with loved ones and work associates, we seem to forget more and more about how to socialize properly. To be specific, we’ve mostly forgotten how to have conversations with real people.
You’re probably thinking to yourself: “But I have been having conversations with real people. I’ve been having online meetings with my coworkers and I’ve been keeping in touch with loved ones on social media. I’ve been talking to real people!”
However, there’s a vast difference between talking to someone behind a screen and talking to someone face-to-face, and as things start to go back to normal and we begin going back to our old routine of going places in person, we have to remember how to talk to people in the real world. Otherwise, the transition will only be harder for everyone
When having a conversation with someone, it is important to make it clear that you are actively participating in the conversation, as well as making sure that the other person feels heard and valued. Be sure to take note of the body language that you might be exhibiting, and adjust it whenever it’s needed. It’s easy to act haphazardly with your body language when you’re behind a screen because people can’t see you. However, when you’re in the real world, people can see you, so be sure to exercise caution.
Find Common Ground
Conversations are a very good ground to foster professional relationships, and a good way to keep conversations flowing without having to resort to boring small talk is by trying to find common ground with the person (or people) that you are talking with. Try starting with a simple question like “Have you seen any good T.V. shows or movies lately?” and then move the conversation from that point. See what your coworkers might be interested in, then build a conversation off of that. Who knows? You might realize you have more in common with your coworkers than you might think, and you might even meet a friend for life.
This piece of advice might sound a bit silly, but it actually has a lot of truth behind it. When a conversation feels forced or awkward, people might be uncomfortable or unwilling to participate in it. Therefore, you need to let the conversation start and move naturally, and you shouldn’t force something to go a certain way if it isn’t going to. If nothing chooses to happen, it’s best to give it time to happen naturally.
By utilizing these pieces of advice and practicing them beforehand, you will definitely see a vast improvement in any and all future conversations that you might have, as well as a vast improvement in all professional relationships among your coworkers, as well as your non-professional relationships with your friends and loved ones, both of which will definitely benefit you in the future.