You might find small-talk an endless stream of ‘blab-blab-blab’ and when finding yourself in social settings where small-talk is “required, you cannot wait to get home and rip of that tight dress or skirt and slip into your jogging suit before sinking down in the sofa in front of the TV. Don’t.
Being able to conduct small-talk is a social skill, not to mention a skill that can help you greatly in your professional life and only for that reason one should exercise the art of it. Small-talk can be referred to as chit-chat, tittle-tattling, light talking, polite conversation and table talk and so on.
It requires more than mere talking about the weather and less than complicated financial analyses. Does it really matter whether I engage in chit-chatting, you might ask.
Yes, it does. In many job-related settings, small-talk is required. You are in a reception organized by a business partner. Everyone seems busy talking to someone. You desperately seek one familiar face upon which you would start your small-talk tour with but everyone you know seems to be absent. Having been sent by your employer to represent your organization, it is out of question to leave before you done your part of the small-talk with more or less hidden key messages. Small-talk is sort of a bonding-ritual and you better do some talking unless you want your organization to come out bad, or even being perceived unprofessional by the mere inactive, non-talkative representative it sent to the gathering. In other words, if you have nothing to say, do not attend.
Many think small-talk is useless. However, in some cases even closing business deals necessitates hours of small-talk in advance. Even if small-talk is conversation for its own sake, believe me, it definitely serves the purpose of fostering work relations and cooperation. Small-talk is in other words a communication- and thereby social skill. So let’s get this straight. If you are not good at small-talk you are a social failure? No – not at all, as being good at small-talk can be taught – by practicing. The internet is full of good advises as to how you can become good at small-talk so no need to talk about it here.
There is nothing small with small-talk. It is not just a way to waste time or in order to avoid awkward silent moments. In fact, it is in many cases a key to personal as well as professional success. Not only can small-talk help you develop inter-personal relations, small-talk could also benefit you greatly in being successful in your job. Do not despair. Even many of the most famous of celebrities admit they are not good at small-talk. Next time you sit in one of these long-and ever-lasting work-dinners or you enter a reception full of people you have never seen before, have faith! Think to yourself that most present in the room probably think the same as you do.