5 Tips To Strike a Conversation if You are an Introvert
Some people are happy staying quiet and engrossed in their thoughts rather than spend much time amongst people and we popularly know them as introverts. Being an introvert or an extrovert is a personality type, of which one can’t lay finger on which is better and which is not. But, that being said, many a time in our professional setup, the need may arise even for introverts to step out of the comfort zone and interact.
So if you feel hesitant to speak and network with people in your workspace then here are 5 tips that you can try to overcome it.
1.Prepare in Advance- If you have a heads up on who you will be interacting with, in the near future, “Prepare”. If it is an individual, research about the person before you face them. Get to know about them through different sources starting from platforms like LinkedIn and common connections (although, don’t sound like you are stalking them when you enquire about them). If it is a networking opportunity on a large scale then prepare about what’s the latest in the industry, a bit of who’s who, shortlist 3–5 people you would like to interact with, and who in your professional circle can help you connect with them.
2. Active Listening- The mental block comes when instead of focusing on what the person is talking about, you are worked up about, “what should I say next?”. It’s natural to feel so, especially when you want to leave a lasting impression. However, in the process not only do you increase the chances of missing out on something important they said (your cue to what to say next) but also remember your body language will be a major giveaway, that you are not into the conversation. Genuinely, listen to what the other person has to say, your next sentence, question, or reaction will automatically come out of that.
3. Spotlight on the other person – Most of the time people love it when the spotlight is on them. Ask questions that may not typically end with one-word answers. People, especially extroverts love to speak in detail about matters they are passionate about. It could be about their job, hobby or the place they belong to, etc. While they talk, grab onto something they said about which you can ask another question and that’s how you get your conversation rolling.
4. Avoid monosyllables – yes, no, hmm, avoid these. Indeed they are tempting and the quickest way to respond but, they are also conversation killers. Figure out how you can say “yes” but in sentence form. Think of what value statement can you add along with the yes. Although, it’s understandable that sometimes it is difficult, to keep your conversation going try and pick out a few words from what they spoke last and add something to it or ask a question about that.
5. Practice – No amount of practice ever goes to waste. Here is a communication tip that’s basic but taken for granted. Best of speakers practice the art of speaking, be it small talk or speaking on a public platform. So, practice at any given opportunity, starting with standing in front of the mirror and talking to yourself. Notice your style of speaking, body language, and choice of words. Correct yourself wherever you feel you can improve. Try striking a conversation with a neighbor or someone you meet in the lift.
Finally, remember even if a conversation doesn’t go the way you expected it to or wanted it to please don’t browbeat yourself for it. Not every conversation is meant to be great, some may be too dull to put in an effort. The aim should be to try your best and with time you will be able to master the art of holding a conversation.