Networking: The Best Way to Talk to Strangers
Meeting people can be fun and stimulating, and it can also improve conflict resolution skills. Communication is an exercise, and with a few tips on how to become a master of talking to strangers, anyone can master this power.
Interaction is one of the pillars of a company, be it remote or hybrid. In an anywhere office scenario, that is, working from anywhere, efforts must be made to improve communication with the remote team , as conversations in the hallway or between meals are not possible. Also, interpersonal skills are key to networking — a tool to stand out in the market.
In this post, you'll see how to become a master at talking to strangers and improving bonds with your employees and customers. Follow!
How important is communication?
Simple conversations can be exhausting and cause stress by making people face the unknown in front of each other. However, the same factor makes such conversations serve as a great mental stimulus, precisely because they present a challenge that involves attention, interest, exploration and insight.
In addition to psychologists, other professionals such as researchers, scientists, historians, sociologists and business people are realizing that talking to strangers can be fun and exciting. This is because in addition to broadening horizons, professional and personal contacts, the experience also makes people increasingly capable of solving social problems.
The period of social isolation had some consequences for our social interactions, but even before this challenge, the remote model was already a bet for several companies. We had to reorganize the way we communicate, including discussing significant demands through asynchronous communication and the use of collaboration platforms.
Despite seeming like a natural skill, interaction can be seen as constant practice, which can be improved through some exercises and training.
How to do well in conversations with strangers?
As we have seen, contact with new people, although challenging, can be very stimulating and enriching. This is an important step towards boosting personal and professional development. Want to develop your interpersonal skills? Follow the tips on how to become a master at talking to strangers!
Start with small talk
A common comment we make with strangers to “break the ice” is usually about the weather. In this sense, the important thing is not the subject, but the connections and familiarity that this exchange of words is capable of causing.
Simple conversations can be the gateway to deep connections. When you find some common ground from these everyday events, it is possible that the lines become more personal and interesting.
Get out of the ordinary
Small talk often follows a ready-made script, which means that they do not go anywhere. To create connections from a simple conversation it is important to extrapolate common sense.
In the example, you could answer that you are feeling a 7.50 on a scale of 10. Then, you could explain why you feel that way, demonstrating complexity and a sense of humor, or simply more natural than any response considered automatic.
Show interest in each other
After establishing a small connection, you can start a few lines that show interest in what the other person has to say. You have to be careful not to ask too personal questions too soon, as this can create an uncomfortable atmosphere for both of you.
In this case, so that comfort continues to be established, saying some statements about yourself before the questions can be interesting since you are not yet demanding punctual answers from the other.
Let the other surprise you
Another suggestion to improve your conversations with strangers and your business networking is to ask broad questions. Thus, you offer space for the other to develop their reasoning, without prior judgments. In a real conversation, it's more interesting to be surprised by the other's response than to try to guess the reasons why he has certain behaviors without knowing its context.
Know that talking to strangers is not expected
In a way, not talking to strangers is part of a social norm, which is why we were so intimidated by the idea. To demonstrate to a stranger that you're completely in control of your attitude, it can be helpful to make it clear that you know it's a little weird.
After situating the dialogue, highlighting something about the person that caught your attention becomes plausible. The statement may be followed by a justification for such a statement. With this, you reduce the distrust that may still exist between you.
After reading the previous steps, you may realize that asking questions to someone you don't know is no longer an impossible mission, is it? When you put yourself in the position of questioning, showing interest in the subject and in the person, you also become someone more well-regarded, since you are willing to listen, understand, validate and care about the speech of others. People will like you because you care about them.
Be a good listener
More important than finding the best questions to ask, you have to keep in mind that when you're talking to someone, you have to listen. So listen, make eye contact, and show your interest.
One way to confirm that you are present in that conversation is to paraphrase what the other person has been saying (“What you were saying sounds like…”) and confirm that you understand and validate their emotions. If someone says they were feeling frustrated at another time, you can say "You were frustrated".
By being a good listener, you are affirming that the conversation is not only about you or what information you want to hear but also about the possibilities that the other presents.