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jerryking : ice-breakers   25

How to Talk to People, According to Terry Gross
Nov. 17, 2018 | The New York Times | By Jolie Kerr.

(1) “Tell me about yourself,” a.k.a the only icebreaker you’ll ever need.
(2) The secret to being a good conversationalist? Curiosity.
(3) Be funny (if you can). “A good conversationalist is somebody who is fun to talk to,” she said. Ms. Gross, it’s worth noting, is very funny. If you can’t be funny, being mentally organized, reasonably concise and energetic will go a long way in impressing people.
(4) Preparation is key. “It helps to organize your thoughts beforehand by thinking about the things you expect you’ll be asked and then reflecting on how you might answer,” think through where your boundaries are, so that you’re not paralyzed agonizing over whether you’re willing to confide something or not.”

In a job interview, organizing your thoughts by thinking about the things you expect you’ll be asked and reflecting on how you might answer can help you navigate if things start to go badly.
(5) Take control by pivoting to something you want to talk about.
(6) Ms. Gross doesn’t want you to dodge questions. But if you’re going to, here’s how: Say, “I don’t want to answer that,” or, if that’s too blunt, hedge with a statement like, “I’m having a difficult time thinking of a specific answer to that.” Going the martyr route with something like, “I’m afraid by answering that I’m going to hurt somebody’s feelings and I don’t want to do that,” is another option.
(7) Terry pays attention to body language. Be like Terry.
(8) When to push back, and when not to.
body_language  Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  curiosity  howto  humour  interviews  interview_preparation  job_search  preparation  tips  nonverbal  posture  ice-breakers  concision  Managing_Your_Career  pay_attention 
november 2018 by jerryking
Want to Seem More Likable? Try This
Sept. 23, 2018 | The New York Times | By Tim Herrera.

There’s an easy way to simultaneously coming off as more likable while working to build a deeper, more genuine connection with someone: Ask questions.

A study published last year in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology analyzed getting-to-know-you conversations between platonic conversation partners, along with face-to-face speed-dating conversations, and found that in both settings “people who ask more questions, particularly follow-up questions, are better liked by their conversation partners.” (It even led to an increase in second dates among the speed-daters.)

Those follow-up questions, the study found, are especially helpful to increase how much we are liked because they show that we are listening sincerely and trying to show we care.
Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  howto  ice-breakers  likeability  questions  listening  5_W’s  second-order  small_talk  follow-up_questions 
september 2018 by jerryking
3 Tips to Have Better Conversations
Sept. 16, 2018 | The New York Times | by By Tim Herrera

1. Know the three tiers of conversations
Tier one is safe territory: sports, the weather, pop culture, local celebrities and any immediate shared experience.

Tier two is potentially controversial: religion, politics, dating and love lives. “Test the waters, and back away if they’re not interested,” one expert told Jen.

Tier three includes the most intimate topics: family, finance, health and work life. “Some people love to talk about what they do and their kids, but don’t ask a probing question until the door has been opened,” said Daniel Post Senning, an etiquette expert and the great-great-grandson of Emily Post.

Note also that while “So, what do you do?” is a pretty common and acceptable question in America, in Europe it’s as banal as watching paint dry. Instead, ask “What keeps you busy?”

Debra Fine, a speaker and the author of “The Fine Art of Small Talk,” has another basic rule: “Don’t ask a question that could put somebody in a bad spot: ‘Is your boyfriend here?’ ‘Did you get into that M.B.A. program?’” Instead try: “Catch me up on your life” or “What’s going on with work for you?”
Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  ice-breakers  small_talk  tips  think_threes 
september 2018 by jerryking
The Future Is Dodgeball -
Nov. 5, 2017 | WSJ | By Andy Kessler.

Ben Rosen rambled on about getting in the middle of things at events, conferences and seminars. He said that at first nothing will make sense and all these balls will be flying across the room out of your reach. But eventually you’ll find yourself in the middle of the room and balls will start hitting you. Then you’ll know you’re inside....Turns out it was the best advice I would ever receive.

The thing about the future is that, as William Goldman wrote about screenwriting, “Nobody knows anything.” Everyone is an outsider, and it’s all up for grabs. Someone might have an opinion, but there are few facts. What you need are your own opinions about where the world is headed in any given industry: artificial intelligence, gene editing, autonomous trucks, marine salvage—whatever.

You need to go to places where the future is discussed. Every industry has these events. Make the time to go. And not only to hear keynoters billow hot air, but for the panel discussions where people disagree. The conversation spills out into the hallways between talks..... Barge in anyway. Remember, there are no facts, only opinions.

Walk up and talk to people. Ask what they do. They’re there because they want to learn something too. They will all ask you what you think. Come up with something fast, but don’t be too stubborn to change what you think as you learn more. During the personal-computer era I saw a guy, whom Bill Gates had just introduced, standing by himself after showcasing the first truly high-resolution videogame. I chatted him up and he has been a friend for life, showing me not only where technology is headed but the path it takes.

It’s not classic networking but a network of ideas. The goal is finding a new way to think, to filter news over time as the future takes shape in fits and starts. It never happens in a straight line. Hydraulic fracturing has been around and argued about since 1947. Anyone had a chance to study this future of unlocking natural gas and make a fortune. Same for artificial intelligence in 1956, e-commerce in 1979 and quantum computing in 1982.

The future doesn’t happen overnight. You just need to get inside it and let some of those balls whizzing by start to hit you. And you’ve got to do this in person. Most issues don’t show up online, let alone on Facebook or Twitter . It’s tough as a writer to admit that subtle nuances sometimes require face-to-face conversation.

It doesn’t matter if you’re 25, 45 or 65. The industry you pick to work in has more of a say in your success than your job description. Same for giving money away. If you want to fund Alzheimer’s research, you better find yourself at wonky conferences going toe-to-toe with doctors. Eventually, you’ll know more.

I met Jeff Bezos at a tech conference about a decade ago and mentioned that I had just self-published a book and used his Amazon Advantage program to sell it. He proceeded to grill me like a steak, asking what was wrong with it and what features he should add. I’m convinced he keeps winning because he enjoys being hit with dodgeballs. He famously left New York a retailing outsider with an idea to sell books. Balls whizzed by until they hit. He now has the ultimate inside view.

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“Play in traffic.”.....“It means that if you go push yourself out there and you see people and do things and participate and get involved, something happens,” he said. “Both of my great occasions in life happened by accident simply because I showed up.”“I tell people, just show up, get in the game, go play in traffic,” Mr. Plumeri said. “Something good will come of it, but you’ve got to show up.”
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'80s  action-oriented  advice  Andy_Kessler  Ben_Rosen  Communicating_&_Connecting  conferences  face2face  future  ice-breakers  independent_viewpoints  industry_expertise  Jeff_Bezos  Morgan_Stanley  panels  playing_in_traffic  small_talk  straight-lines  think_differently  Wall_Street 
november 2017 by jerryking
Save Yourself From Tedious Small Talk - WSJ
By Sue Shellenbarger
Updated May 23, 2017

Only one in four people sees value in asking probing questions of strangers, based on a Contacts Count survey of 1,000 people. Doing so can be risky, says Lynne Waymon, the firm’s CEO and co-author of a book on networking. “I’m demanding more of you when I ask thought-provoking questions. I’m making an assumption that you’re in this conversation to make something of it—that you’re not going to see somebody across the room and say, ‘Oh, I need to go talk to Susan or Bob,’” she says. “But the connections you make are going to be much more dramatic and long-lasting.”
Sue_Shellenbarger  conversations  ice-breakers  questions  Communicating_&_Connecting  open-ended  small_talk 
may 2017 by jerryking
How to Be a Better Conversationalist - WSJ.com
August 12, 2013, 10:16 p.m. ET

How to Be a Better Conversationalist
Good Small Talk Makes Us Likable, But It's Easy to Get Rusty—How to Avoid Dominating and Being Dominated in a Conversation

By
ELIZABETH BERNSTEIN
Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  ice-breakers  Elizabeth_Bernstein  small_talk 
august 2013 by jerryking
What to Say to a Friend Who's Ill - WSJ.com
April 12, 2013 | WSJ | By LETTY COTTIN POGREBIN.
The following are 10 Commandments for Conversing With a Sick Friend.

1. Rejoice at their good news. Don't minimize their bad news. A guy tells you that the doctors got it all, say "Hallelujah!" A man with advanced bladder cancer says that he's taking his kids to Disneyland next summer, don't bite your lip and mutter, "We'll see." Tell him it's a great idea. (What harm can it do?)..."Tell me what I can do to make things easier for you—I really want to help."

2. Treat your sick friends as you always did—but never forget their changed circumstance. Speak to them as you always did (tease them, kid around with them, get mad at them) but indulge their occasional blue moods or hissy-fits. Most important, start conversations about other things (sports, politics, food, movies) as soon as possible and you'll help speed their journey from the morass of illness to the miracle of the ordinary.

3. Avoid self-referential comments. A friend with a hacking cough doesn't need to hear, "You think that's bad? I had double pneumonia."...The truest thing you can say to a sick or suffering friend is, "I can only try to imagine what you're going through."

4. Don't assume, verify. Repeat after me: "Assume nothing."

5. Get the facts straight before you open your mouth.Did your friend have a heart or liver transplant? Chemo or radiation? Don't just ask, "How are you?" Ask questions specific to your friend's health. "How's your rotator cuff these days?" "Did the blood test show Lyme disease?" "Are your new meds working?" If you need help remembering who has shingles and who has lupus, or the date of a friend's operation, enter a health note under the person's name in your contacts list or stick a Post-it by the phone and update the information as needed.

6. Help your sick friend feel useful. Zero in on one of their skills and lead to it. Assuming they're up to the task, ask a cybersmart patient to set up a Web page for you; ask a bridge or chess maven to give you pointers on the game; ask a retired teacher to guide your teenager through the college application process. In most cases, your request won't be seen as an imposition but a vote of confidence in your friend's talent and worth.

7. Don't infantilize the patient. Never speak to a grown-up the way you'd talk to a child. Objectionable sentences include, "How are we today, dearie?" "That's a good boy." "I bet you could swallow this teeny-tiny pill if you really tried." And the most wince-worthy, "Are we ready to go wee-wee?" Protect your friend's dignity at all costs.

8. Think twice before giving advice.Don't forward medical alerts, newspaper clippings or your Aunt Sadie's cure for gout. Your idea of a health bulletin that's useful or revelatory may mislead, upset, confuse or agitate your friend. Sick people have doctors to tell them what to do. Your job is simply to be their friend.

9. Let patients who are terminally ill set the conversational agenda.If they're unaware that they're dying, don't be the one to tell them. If they know they're at the end of life and want to talk about it, don't contradict or interrupt them; let them vent or weep or curse the Fates. Hand them a tissue and cry with them. If they want to confide their last wish, or trust you with a long-kept secret, thank them for the honor and listen hard. Someday you'll want to remember every word they say.

10. Don't pressure them to practice 'positive thinking.' The implication is that they caused their illness in the first place by negative thinking—by feeling discouraged, depressed or not having the "right attitude." Positive thinking can't cure Huntington's disease, ALS or inoperable brain cancer....As one hospice patient put it, "All I want from my friends right now is the freedom to sulk and say goodbye."
bad_news  conversations  Communicating_&_Connecting  difficult_conversations  dignity  etiquette  hospice  ice-breakers  illness  positive_thinking  stressful  tension 
april 2013 by jerryking
Hate Small Talk? These 5 Questions Will Help You Work Any Room
07-27-2012 | Fast Company | BY Allison Graham.

Questions to get the conversations flowing:

"What’s your connection to the event?"

"What’s keeping you busy when you’re not at events like this or at work?" .

"Are you getting away this summer?"

"Are you working on any charity initiatives?"

"How did you come to be in your line of work?"
ice-breakers  Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  networking  small_talk 
july 2012 by jerryking
How to Start a Conversation When You Have Nothing to Talk About
Edited byAnthony J. Colleluori.

The secret at the heart of a good conversation is to listen and do very little of the talking, apart from encouraging the other person to open up.
howto  conversations  ice-breakers  Communicating_&_Connecting 
march 2012 by jerryking
Tongue-Tied When Networking? - WSJ.com
June 6, 2006 | WSJ | By PERRI CAPELL.

Question: Most advice on networking doesn't say what I should talk about with people I contact. Do people just call each other up and say, "Hi, how are things going these days?" Please provide some input on this.

Answer: relationships are easiest to develop when you have something in common with the other person. Find commonalities that you can build on before you meet or pick up the telephone. You may know some of the same people or you may be in the same professional organization. Then send a written note or an email to the person about why you'd like to meet, or ask your mutual friend to make an introduction, says Ms. Wier. When you do connect, you'll have a foundation for your conversation. "People get tongue-tied when there is no basis for a relationship," she says.

You may not get job leads, referrals or other help you want in the beginning. As with any good relationship, the rewards usually come later on. Just be genuine and focus on how you can help the other party. "People have very unrealistic expectations of networking," says Diane Darling, a communications trainer and author in Boston....
start conversations by asking the other person questions about him or herself...If you're attending a party and don't know anyone, ask people how they know the host or how long they've lived in town. looking for a job."
ice-breakers  conversations  networking  Communicating_&_Connecting 
march 2012 by jerryking
The Art of Conversation
November 19, 2005
Get outside yourself and focus on others. Know how to LISTEN!!!
To become a good conversationalist.
(1) Become invested in the conversation and actively work to help the other person feel comfortable. To this end, ice-breakers might include some of the challenges of your profession? your favourite thing to do on a rainy day? How mobile apps are affecting your life?.

A great opening question should elicit a response that is truly interesting. Ask,"what did you do today? "Start at the beginning and tell me exactly what happened from the time you work up?"
Leah_McLaren  conversations  Communicating_&_Connecting  ice-breakers  etiquette  listening 
march 2012 by jerryking
Presenting Your Best Self
FEBRUARY 23, 2012 | WSJ | By CHERYL LU-LIEN TAN.

When Ms. Brown wants to meet someone who is already involved in a conversation, she generally hovers nearby, waiting for the person to notice she is waiting and invite her to join in. "If they're heavily into the talk and the conversation is pretty intense, then walk away and find another moment," she says. "I think it's rude to interrupt people when they're speaking—or just join in the conversation."

When you're meeting people, "a firm handshake is important," she says. "The last thing you need when you shake someone's hand is to feel them barely pressing your hand," she says, which conveys "a weak character." Too often, people forget basic manners, she says: It is important to look people in the eye and smile, and if you have someone with you, be sure to introduce that person.

As the conversation progresses, Ms. Brown employs "emotional intelligence" by asking questions, rather than talking about herself.
Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  ice-breakers  etiquette 
february 2012 by jerryking
The secret to polite conversation - The Globe and Mail
SARAH HAMPSON | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Monday's Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011

That’s the thing about pleasant conversation. It’s a dance of fancy footwork, a minefield of social explosive devices to be avoided, the exact opposite of what the popular culture of confession and narcissistic Facebook commentary suggests is important. A good conversationalist has a feel for nuance; an understanding of grace; an ability to make careful entrees and gentle exits. He is not obsessed with his own status updates. And he’s adept at skilled deflections.

To make for happy party dynamics, you must demure at times, remain silent when necessary, nod, listen, dare to be conventional and find refuse in a discussion about the weather.

Rarely do you need to say exactly how you feel,
conversations  ice-breakers  Communicating_&_Connecting  etiquette  politeness  people_skills  grace  generosity  serving_others  nuanced  socially_graceful 
december 2011 by jerryking
Is the art of (salon) conversation dead? - The Globe and Mail
Katrina Onstad | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Saturday's Globe and Mail

A generation gap between those over 30 and their stylists isn’t surprising – healthy hands, artistry and long work hours are the stuff of youth – but it can amp up the awkwardness over what to talk about while stuck in the chair. Common ground doesn’t always come easy....“third places,” those potentially liberating establishments like coffee shops and bookstores that are neither home nor work and are the hubs of successful communities. They’re places where we are forced, for better or worse, to interact with people from different classes and backgrounds.
Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  listening  ice-breakers  Katrina_Onstad  third_spaces  generations 
december 2011 by jerryking
The Best Way to Introduce Yourself
July 18, 2011 | BNET | By Jeff Haden.
Embrace less is more. Brief introductions are always best. Provide
the bare minimum the other person needs to know, not in an attempt to
maintain distance but because you know during the conversation more will
be revealed in a natural, unforced, and therefore much more memorable
way.
Be appropriate. If you meet another parent at a school meeting, for
example, just say, “Hi, I’m Joe. My daughter is in third grade.” Keep
your introduction in context with the setting. If there is no real
context, like at a soccer game, just say, “Hi, I’m Joe. Hey, have fun.”
Under state. Unless you are in a business setting your job title is
irrelevant. If you’re the CEO of NextBigThing Technologies, just say you
work there. To err is human; to err humble is divine.
Focus on others. Your audience is the real audience. Ask questions.
Listen. The best connections never come from speaking; they always come
from listening.
Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  ice-breakers  networking  brevity  concision 
july 2011 by jerryking
How to Make Your Co-Workers Smarter
May 11, 2011| BNET | By Jessica Stillman.
Learn about people’s passions. You can’t connect with others if you
don’t know anything about them. So, who are they? Ask lots of questions.
What inspires or drives them? What are their goals? What have they
learned recently?
Get over yourself. Flip your focus from yourself to the other
person. When you say to yourself, “He hates me” or “She thinks I’m
stupid,” you are making someone else’s behavior about you [jk: emotional mastery]. Change your
perspective. For instance, if you are thinking, “I want her to think I’m
smart” flip your focus to “I want her to be smart.”
Make connections. When interacting with small groups, be a
“connector” by calling out each person’s unique talents or strengths.
Help people connect the dots and see that two or more heads really are
better than one.
Communicating_&_Connecting  connecting_the_dots  co-workers  curiosity  emotional_mastery  empowerment  howto  ice-breakers  passions  questions  serving_others  smart_people  teams  workplaces 
may 2011 by jerryking
How to make small talk - The Globe and Mail
HADLEY DYER
From Monday's Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010
the art of conversation is combining good technique with the right
attitude. (1) Arrive armed. Do your homework. Scan the headlines. (2)
Pay attention. “Sometimes listening is better than talking.”. (3) Give
and take. Seek a recommendation. Give a compliment. . “Say, 'That's a
beautiful jacket. Where did you get it?' (4) Wrap it up, gracefully. “I
don't like it when someone says, 'I'm going to the bar to replenish my
drink.' I think it's better to say, 'Would you like to come with me?’ ”
Mr. Hyndman says. “If they don't move on, at least you're in motion. You
might be able to include other people along the way and bring in some
new topics, because you've obviously run dry, but always be conscious of
not hurting their feelings.”
howto  Communicating_&_Connecting  ice-breakers  conversations  listening  small_talk  pay_attention 
march 2011 by jerryking
The Schmooze-Hater’s Guide to Better Networking
March 15, 2011 | BNET | By Tom Searcy |
(1) It’s not all about you. See if there is a way you can be of help to
others--be a great problem solver. Along the way good things will happen
for you, too.
(2) Set your goals, primary and back-up
(3) Ask good questions. # “What business problem does your company
solve?” “What is the best example you have of how you are doing that?” #
“What has been the biggest win for you/your company in the last six
months?”
(4) Exit gracefully. “It has been so nice to spend a few minutes getting
to know you, I hope you have a great spring.” smile graciously and just
move on.
exits  networking  howto  ice-breakers  JCK  conversations  serving_others  questions  grace  small_talk  Communicating_&_Connecting 
march 2011 by jerryking
Style Expert Tim Gunn Makes Small Talk - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 25, 2007 | Wall Street Journal | by ELVA RAMIREZ.
Although Mr. Gunn says that he lets conversations evolve organically, he
avoids controversial subjects. If pressed for a small-talk topic, he'll
ask, "What brings you here tonight?" or the sure-fire "Who are you
wearing?". Sometimes the issue is not empty space but too many words.
The key to politely leaving a conversation, Mr. Gunn says, is to be
forthright. He extends his hand and says, "It's been lovely talking to
you. But I'm needed across the room."
Communicating_&_Connecting  etiquette  tips  mens'_clothing  ice-breakers  small_talk 
november 2009 by jerryking

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