What Harvard researchers discovered about small talk

Posted on: March 14th, 2019 by Jen Mueller

According to a team of Harvard researchers asking follow-up questions and being authentic is the best way to get the most out of small talk.

Did it really take a team of Harvard researches to figure that out?

The same researchers contend that sports isn’t an effective small talk topic because the conversation doesn’t go anywhere.

Really?! Or could it be that Harvard researchers don’t know how to ask follow-up questions about sports with any level of authenticity?

Conversations count – if you allow them to. Asking “How are you?” without any intent of listening to the answer isn’t a conversation worth having.

Small talk isn’t all about you. It’s about developing rapport, trust and the type of relationships that make it easier to get work done.

Harvard researchers might like these tips from the blog, and so will you!

3 Reasons to stay focused and avoid multi-tasking IN small talk at work. Just because you’ve got someone’s attention does not mean you should run through the laundry-list of things you’d like to talk about.

5 Mantras That Matter in a Business Conversation. You can either psych yourself up or psych yourself out of talking to people. I needed the mantras when meeting dozens of new players in the Mariners clubhouse during Spring Training.

Few people like conflict, but if you avoid tough conversations because you hope they’ll go away, you’re only prolonging the inevitable and making the situation worse. Don’t make this mistake.

One more thing, if you haven’t already registered for the first Learn from a Leader online training session, you’ve got less than a week to take advantage of the early bird pricing. From now until March 18 you can register for $97 (instead of $147.)

If you’re busy March 25 but still want to join, you’re in luck because each 90-minute session is recorded and sent out to everyone who registered within 48 hours after the session ends.