5 Tactics for Starting a Conversation with a Stranger
There is a hierarchy of cringe-worthy activities and high on the list is networking. If you peel back networking, there are few things worse for many people (like my fellow socially reluctant) than approaching and speaking with a stranger.
The problem you face is the fact that you have little or no “frame of reference” with this other person. Where do you begin when starting a conversation? Even if you can muster up the courage to go near the stranger, it makes you feel like a deer in the headlights.
Do you run away as fast as possible or hope for the fire alarm to goes off?
I have found that rather than stop in your tracks, it’s good to have some conversation tactics that I have found to work well. With a bit of planning, you can seriously reduce the fear and loathing of networking.
How do you and Jane know each other?
How long have you been part of the project management group?
What is your profession that brings you to this group?
I see you’re munching on the egg rolls, do you recommend them?
I noticed your lapel pin, what is the pin associated with?
I’m new to this group and really don’t know anyone. Is it ok for me to join you and your friends? (I’ve done this a number of times and people are remarkably hospitable)
Hi, I don’t think you and I have met before. I’m Dorothy and you are? (Response) What brings you here today?
One of the things you rarely hear discussed when it comes to networking is the idea of preparing for it. I’m a big advocate of doing just that. Not all of us are big social butterflies who can easily come into a setting and begin a gabfest with anyone they encounter. I have discovered that you can think through various parts of the process and develop good tactics to help you get the most out of the next event. Isn’t that worth the cringe reduction?
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Brought to you by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – dedicated to unleash your professional potential. www.introvertwhisperer.com