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The power of small talk

June 19, 2016

The art of small talk is one that comes naturally to some, whilst others struggle to make what is supposed to be an insignificant conversation with those around them. Some people recoil in horror at the prospect of having to make idle chit-chat while others are pro-active and ready to engage with the people around them.

In the workplace, knowing how to make small talk and knowing how to take something positive from it, is an important aspect of being part of a team. It is a wonderful way of building and maintaining relationships with those around us, which is crucial if you are looking to build team spirit. Alongside this, it helps create a friendly and easy-going atmosphere in the office, and it can reduce any stress or anxiety you may be feeling, too.

Why do people hate small talk?

Intended as a means of starting a conversation, covering generic topics that everyone can engage in; these often one-time encounters can feel awkward and shallow. It can also feel forced and a little mundane when those you are interacting with don't give you anything back.

However, if you are more open to the idea of genuine interactions with those around you, there is a lot to be taken from small talk. If you pose your questions differently  (open ended without a yes or no answer) and prompt responses where necessary, you will find these conversations can be more of a team building exercise than a mundane passing of the day.

The Lift Conundrum

It is said that the awkward silence that fills the 20 seconds of a lift ride are some of the most uncomfortable moments of our lives, even if it is people we spend most of our time with in the workplace. Everyone is waiting for somebody else to speak first, but they never do - and the increasingly loud silence wins out.

Engage in Small Talk

If you're looking to build team spirit in your office, it is easily achieved. We have put together our top 5 reasons to go for it to help you on your way:

  • Make a change and open the communication channels, at least once a day. It will break the ice, ease the tension and you can start the day with a smile instead of a sigh of relief
  • It gives you a chance to respond and interact with your colleagues and peers with opinions and personality before your work takes priority
  • It opens up communication channels that would otherwise have gone amiss
  • It will genuinely bring a smile to your face just from being courteous and pleasant
  • It gets your head out of the throes of technology, even for a few moments

The power of small talk in the workplace can be powerful when utilised in the right way. Combine with projects that require open communication and problem solving and a sense of morale on a team building day to see your team really working together.

If you're looking for activities that will challenge and nurture your team at the same time, please contact our team - we've got just the event for you!

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