Conquer the Dreaded Small Talk With Your Boss

Michele Warg
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Drumming up topics to maintain small talk with your boss can be awkward, but preparing yourself for these conversations can actually help you to learn more about your workplace and boss. Learn how to improve your communication skills and engage in a friendly, professional manner with your boss to make a great impression and improve your overall standing within the company.

Strengthen Connections

Small talk helps you learn more about your boss and allows you to gain knowledge that leads to more conversations in the future. Strive to make a connection by brainstorm potential topics to discuss when the two of you are alone in an elevator, walking in the same direction or experiencing lulls in the workflow. Take notice of the framed photos in his office or the memorabilia hanging on the walls to find common interests.

Listen More

It is tempting to fill those pauses with chatter, but when you listen more than you speak, it prompts your boss to share more information. Listening to what your boss has to say allows you to find out more about his interests outside of work, his style of communication and even his leadership style. The information obtained through small talk can be a valuable tool for any worker seeking to build a relationship with his boss or advance his career.

Ask Questions

Small talk can work to your advantage by helping your boss to feel more comfortable communicating with you on a daily basis. When waiting in the lobby of a client's office, ask your boss questions about her career path. It is likely that your supervisor feels flattered when asked about successes and accomplishments, which can ultimately prompt her to share more information with you. This wisdom may also be valuable for your own career path as an administrative assistant or entry-level worker.

Share Your Passions

Stimulate small talk and lighthearted conversations with your supervisor by sharing your own passions. Provide information about your hobbies, family or career goals that show your drive and motivation. Highlight your involvement in the community to see if the two of you share a passion for philanthropy. When you share information about your own passions, your boss may feel more comfortable sharing his passions. This information may also prompt your boss to give you new tasks that align with your passions so you feel challenged and inspired on a daily basis.

Enhance your communication skills while also learning more about your company and your boss's personality through small talk. These brief, simple conversations often lead to greater understanding between top-level managers and employees and can ultimately help you to perform your job better. When you are armed with information about your manager's likes, dislikes and preferences, you can perform your job in a way that makes you stand out in a positive way.

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