Small Talk – Career Success

February 11, 2021

© Carole Kanchier, PhD

Small Talk Leads to Career Success

Do you feel comfortable starting conversations? Do you make small talk at social gatherings or business meetings? Whether you’re up for a promotion or looking for a new job, small talk can help create connections.

Studies show the ability to converse with people is related to career success. Building rapport is a skill that requires practice. Don’t wait for someone to take interest in you. Take the first step.

– Chat with one new person every day. Converse with everyone: cashiers, waiters, people in the grocery check line, and doctors’ waiting rooms.  Accept invitations.

Prepare. Before an event, review possible discussion topics. Skim your newspaper’s sports, business, and movie sections.

– Be approachable. Act confident, comfortable. Don’t cross your arms. A smile, nod, and handshake are welcoming. Say “hello” first. Introduce yourself offering some information about yourself.

– Start a conversation. Introducea topic of mutual interest or make a general comment about the weather or other. Unusual accessories such as a broach or favorite object on your desk can be conversation starters.

Ask open-ended question about an event or hot news topic. Think of questions that begin with “why,” “how,” or “what?” “How long have you been coming to these meetings …?”  “What do you think of …?”

Compliment the person:”I love your suit.” “It must have taken a lot of courage to start your own business.”  

Listen. Focus on the person with whom you’re speaking. Pay attention, give feedback. Before entering into a conversation in progress, observe and listen.

– Avoid personal, philosophical, political, and controversial topics. Maintain integrity, dignity, and optimism.

Exit a conversation graciously. When you feel the conversation is reaching a logical pause, say, ”I’ve enjoyed talking to you, but I don’t want to monopolize your time.” Exchange business cards if you want to know the person better.

– Use small talk during business interviews. View the interviewer as a person. Show interest in the company, its future, and the job. Ask questions. Respond to conversational overtures.   

Connect with people regularly. Small talk is the starting point of all relationships and business deals.

The 7 edition of Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life offers many other ideas and strategies for building career success and satisfaction.    

Author Bio: Carole Kanchier, PhD, is an internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, registered psychologist, coach and author of Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life. Kanchier has taught at University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz, University of Alberta, and other institutions of higher learning, and consulted with varied individuals, professional groups and organizations. Carole Kanchier is known for her pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to human potential.. Dr Kanchier walks her talk!

Contact Carole:;; http://