MADE Magazine Global Impact Issue - Page 34

MADEINC your career success and personal growth. As takeaways from IGNITE, we gathered some best practices help smooth your conversations in the future. 1. EMBRACE SMALL TALK How many times have you started speak- ing with someone at a party, had a great conversation and then left without even knowing his or her name? It happens too often. If you’ve met someone or are being introduced to someone who might be great to collaborate with, work with or even be a potential client – make sure that you get personal with them, learn their name and how to read them. Be sure to exchange business cards to keep the conversation going. If you think you will forget, send the person an email on the spot. 2. LEAD WITH A COMPLIMENT Small talk is taboo to some people, and while it’s not the most fulfilling type of conversation, it is both functional and nec- essary. Small talk is what leads the way to deeper conversation, much in the way that a car must gradually accelerate to a certain speed rather than hitting 60 miles an hour instantaneously. Small talk topics are easy to pull—you can talk about the event you’re attending, comment on a food or drink item, point something out about the venue, or if you’re desperate, you can talk about the weath- er. These are all shared experiences that anyone can relate to, so they can work for any individual. 3. FIND COMMON GROUND Compliments are the best possible way to begin a conversation. Not only do they pro- vide a perfect opening line and a possible door for discussion, they also make the person feel good about themselves. Starting the conversation off on a positive note is crucial to keep the conversation going. 4. ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS Finding common ground requires listen- ing; you need to be fully present in the moment. Setting boundaries that allow you to be wholeheartedly engaged in the conversation, not distracted by your phone or another problem you’re thinking about in your head changes the nature of how you listen. 5. EXUDE CONFIDENCE If you want to move from small talk to real conversation, you have to look for any opportunity that leads you to change the subject. Don’t try to abruptly change gears and talk about something deep or substantial; instead, patiently wait for the opportunity to present itself. Questions are conversational lubricant. Pay attention as much as you can to the conversation and use them to move it forward. You should be scouting the entire conversation for “tell me more” opportuni- ties. Keep potential questions in the back of your mind. Try to be as specific and inquisitive as possible. 6. MAKE A LASTING IMPACT In business conversations, it is converse with a purpose and leave with a lasting impression so that the follow up will be a slam dunk. Share your passions, interests and short term goals with your chat partner. You never know what idea may spark from similar interests that come up. Put it all on the table and be sure to follow up to connect the dots (preferably within 48 hours of the conversation.) | 34