Hi! This is Al Martella – thank you to Andrea for allowing me to share some thoughts about networking this week.
If you have ever listened to NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross, you know how good she is getting people to “open up.” She offered some thoughts on “how to have better conversations” in a recent New York Times article. Here are some:
- “Tell me about yourself” is the only icebreaker you’ll ever need. It allows you to start a conversation comfortably and “let’s people lead you to who they are.”
- The secret to being a good conversationalist? Curiosity. Authentically want to hear what the other person is telling you.
- Be fun! Ms. Gross suggests “a good conversationalist is someone who is fun to talk to.”
- Preparation is key before going to an event – Who will be there? Why are there? It will make you more comfortable.
- Take control of the conversation by pivoting to something you want to talk about. Ms. Gross offers this strategy – “If somebody is asking you questions and you don’t feel that you have a strong response for it, say “let me share an experience.” From there, you can share an experience that points to your talents and areas where you excel.
- Pay attention to body language. “Try to pick up on when you’ve lost somebody’s attention” she said.
- Know when to push back and when not to. She explains “I tell people that if I ask them anything too personal they should let me know and I’ll move on.”
What do you think? Andrea and I would love to hear from you and your thoughts and suggestions.