Magazine article Supervisory Management

Effective Small Talk Makes for Big Success

Magazine article Supervisory Management

Effective Small Talk Makes for Big Success

Article excerpt

Business books and periodicals are loaded with tips on how to improve one's communication with staffers and senior managers. But few, if any, discuss the very important skill of small talk--what is often called "chitchat".

In today's work environment the ability to engage in small talk is very important; it communicates to your employees your human qualities and enables you to demostrate your interest in your employees, something that is very important in motivating staffers.

Many managers find it tough to talk about anything but business with staffers and senior managers. Some say they just don't have the time to socialize with their workers. Others just aren't comfortable in social environments. But this is a skill that we must all work to develop if we are to build the kind of work environment that is conducive to high productivity. Equally important, the ability to engage in small talk can be seen in some companies as important to an individual's professional advancement.

Guidelines in Making

Small Talk

The following are tips to help you refine your small talk abilities:

1. Relax. If you think you are the world's worst maker of small talk, start by training yourself to relax. When most people arrive at a company meeting or party, they take along their sweaty palms and an unnatural, monotone voice. Being relaxed and wearing a smile, makes whatever you say sound smoother and more appropriate even if is not!

2. Find the time. It's true that you have never been as busy as you are now. But it isn't enough to worry about how your employees feel about their work or organization. You have to spend time with them to get to know them and build the kind of rapport that will encourage them to open up with you. If your visits with staffers only portend more work assignments for them, or worse bad news about the company, you can't expect your employees to feel good about you or comfortable to share their ideas and solutions to problems. …

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