Part 1 in a 3-part series.
Breaking Down Barriers
Good communicators develop a sense of psychological safety within their team. A couple of ways to do this is to master the art of small talk and to develop relationships through personal interaction:
Master the Small Talk
Small talk is not something that comes easily for a lot of people. Have a plan for how to conquer those awkward situations. The “FORD” method helps:
Have some topics that you can easily turn to conversation, find a common ground and tell stories about your experiences.
People relate to others when we let our guard down and talk about our personal lives. Find ways to interact on a personal level without going too deep. Volunteer personal information that you are comfortable talking about and see if they reciprocate. Follow up with any information they share with questions that start with “who,” “what” or “where.” For example, if a co-worker shares that they are going out of town for the weekend, ask, “Who is travelling with you?” “What are you looking forward to the most about your trip?” or “Where are you travelling?”
Matt Battaglia is business efficiency expert and Engagement Specialist with People Centric Consultant Group that helps businesses create clear direction, intuitive processes, and motivated employees.