Tips On Making Small Talk

The art of small talk can be boiled down to one simple piece of advice—ask the other person questions. Of course things are more complex than that, but by actively engaging the other person small talk will be much easier and more sincere.

First make sure you are covering the following three criteria—be authentic, make a sincere connection, choose a topic that gives a taste of who you are. But how does one accomplish this?

Avoid “news update” topics such as weather, sports and traffic.

Be aware of your surroundings. If you are in someone else’s space. Choose a unique object in the room to ask questions about. It could be a family photo or an unusual decoration. It is ok to share personal news as well, but make sure it is something that actually happened. The point is to be sincere. Invented niceties might momentarily fill the silence but won’t add up to a conversation.

Don’t be afraid to speak first.

Make eye contact and be aware of your facial expressions and body language. As in all conversations what your body says can be more revealing than what your mouth speaks.
Finally, just go for it. If you are authentic and speak with purpose you might find yourself in the middle of an interesting conversation.

Mentoring

A mentor is someone who is a trusted counselor or guide; a tutor or coach. It is often used the context of someone more experienced teaching, helping, or guiding a less experienced protege. If someone is being mentored they are the mentee.

Mentoring becomes a partnership between the two parties where one will impart their skills to the lesser experienced partner.

To become a mentor, you should have want to share your knowledge with others, encourage and motivate them, be willing to invest your time, be readily available to answer questions, and figure out if you are the correct mentee for them.

You can figure out how to meet whether it’s in person or via something like Skype or Facetime. You will need to figure out the frequency of your meetings as well. You may want to limit the time frame of the mentoring relationship as well. Remember to keep your meetings confidential.

When you’ve reached the end of the mentoring relationship, you may want to encourage your mentee to go on and become a mentor him/herself.