Business Etiquette in Brief: The Art of Business Conversation

How to Start & Sustain a Conversation:

  • Listen more than you speak-Ask open-ended questions that will require more than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
  • Be a good listener- Not sure whether or not the other person is done speaking?  A good rule of thumb is to count to two before opening up to speak.
  • Paraphrase- A good way to let others know that you’ve heard what they said is by reiterating the point.

Different Kinds of Talk:

  • Small Talk- While many people loathe small talk, it can be a great way to get a conversation going as well as break the ice if you’re meeting someone for the first time.
  • Medium Talk- This type of talk deals with information specific to a group.  For example, two employees might be having a conversation about the companies they represent while others may not be able to participate in the conversation.
  • Large Talk- Large talk deals with very specific information.

How to Gain Control of a Conversation:

  • Be open and friendly.
  • Take risks.
  • Be the first to say ‘Hello.”
  • Be genuinely interested in people.  They’ll be flattered and interested in you.
  • Be open to new ideas.
  • Accept people as they are.

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