I was at a work luncheon the other day. It was one of those service award things and I sitting at a table with 5 coworkers from departments outside my own who apparently weren’t in the mood to talk.
After a while it got awkward
Being the dyed-in-the-wool introvert that I am, I was perfectly fine with just munching my lunch and enjoying the scenery. But, as I looked around at the others, it seemed as though some were a bit uncomfortable with the quiet. So, beginning with the guy sitting next to me, I started asking questions.
I guess I went around the table a couple of times asking more and more questions until, after a bit, one of them commented that I sounded like I was interviewing them for a job. Without batting an eyelash, I switched gears and asked … if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?
You see, in my job I write about HR topics and, like most folks when trying to make conversation, I tend to focus on things that come naturally to me. For example to get the conversation going, I asked …
How long have you been in your current job?
What is it about your job that you like the best?
My coworker was right
I was asking questions like a job interviewer, like the HR director I used to be. It just comes naturally. Small talk, unfortunately, does not.
The neat thing, at least for me, was that once I asked the lame question about the tree, everyone cracked up. The ice broke.
The point is
It doesn’t really matter what your small talk is about. What matters is that you throw it out there.
Sometimes, it might fall flat. But, other times, it just may open the gate to a trip into other people’s worlds.
And, much like writing whatever is on your mind to keep the juices flowing, it is well worth the effort.
Even for us introverts.
A hearty thank you to the Jotter’s Joint for sharing some juice with this old girl!