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Wise Words - Small Talk: Mit Aufmerksamkeit punkten

Schlagwörter: Smalltalk, English, Englisch, Geschäft, Kompliment


People who pay attention to their surroundings, work environment and their opposite numbers can succeed more easily at small talk. Here’s why mindfulness helps.

We know that small talk is about building personal relationships, but it’s important to recognize its role in nurturing professional relationships too. By nurturing, I mean driving and supporting interactions that support and grow long-term relationships. If this is starting to sound a little too touchy-feely, I apologize. There’s actually very little touching or feeling that is necessary. In fact, it’s more about “Don’t touch, just look and feel." But the looking needs to be intense and the feeling should be mindful.

Mindfulness has its roots in classical Buddhism, but it’s become a popular approach to the stresses of modern-day life. Mindfulness is connected to meditation and aims at helping people feel more content, even in the middle of a hectic daily routine. In very simple terms, mindfulness is about clear-minded and open attention to what is happening and felt in the present moment.

Mindful eating

Current trends include mindful eating, which promotes enjoying your dining experience by being more conscious about what you eat and how. By turning off the mobile phone, for example, and slowing down our eating, you can get more pleasure out of eating — and can avoid overeating too. Or so the theory goes. Today, mindfulness as a movement has become so popular that there are even mindfulness training courses, mindfulness leadership programs and mindfulness apps, which promise to help you feel healthier, calmer, lighter and even saner.

At this point, you might be starting to feel more sceptical too. And that would be completely understandable. What started perhaps as a credible, meaningful trend has slowly become a crazy money-spinning business venture for some people.

Focus on the basics

Mindfulness can still offer sane elements, however. If you adapt the basic ideas of mindful eating, which is simply being aware of what, where and how you eat, you can use them to guide mindfulness in small talk.

Mindfulness during small talk may help those people who feel that small talk is mindless. Something that is mindless has no value or meaning. Mindless small talk is how people sometimes refer to conversations about the weather. If you feel that small talk is a waste of time, and that you would rather talk about topics with deeper meaning, approaching small talk in a mindful manner might help you change your mind. Mindfulness can act as a valuable foundation for small talk in long-term relationships.

A core feature of mindfulness is the focus on the moment. The now — not what happened in the past, or your feelings about the past. It is this focus that can help you improve your long-term professional relationships through small talk. Academic studies on the topic suggest that mindfulness at work can lead to better communication and less conflict. Here are some mindfulness tips adapted to small talk.

Where: look at the environment

Where you are making small talk can affect what you talk about and how.

What: focus on the positive

Being mindful of what is viewed as positive, rather than negative, can help you create a better long-term relationship.

How: listen for cues from your partner

Listen openly, which means with increased attention to your partner's words and real meanings.

Where, what, how: just focus

If you are more focused during small talk, you will be less distracted — and will therefore be able to pick up on important pieces of information from your partner, which you can then build on for a better relationship.

It’s possible to summarize the above in a single word: awareness.

Show awareness of the moment

Mindful small talk is about being aware of changes and noticing them. If you have a long-term professional relationship with someone, you can improve your relationship by noticing — and commenting on — even the smallest changes. Some of the easiest conversations come from things that you can observe, and by showing that you have observed them.

A simple, but effective conversation opener that you can use with colleagues or long-time business associates might start with:

“I noticed that…”

Complete the phrase by showing awareness of the moment, by commenting on where you are, what you have just seen or what you have noticed.

“I noticed that you’ve changed your office around. It looks nice. “

I noticed that you had my favourite author’s book on your desk. Are you enjoying it?” “I noticed that you now come to work on your bike. How far do you have to cycle?”

The key word is notice. If you are mindful of your surroundings and your partner, you will notice something of interest.

Finally, here’s another mindful opening you could put to use at an event, to start a conversation with someone you’ve never met:

“You look like you know you’re way around here. Could I ask you something about the venue/event/ speaker…”

Don’t be creepy

In both examples, you should comment on something in a positive way. Mindful small talk includes being sensitive. Be aware of any emotions that your partner might be showing. If you have a good relationship, a simple comment can offer support. The next time you are lost for words in small talk, think “I noticed…” or “You look like…”

Just don’t be too creepy about it. You don’t have to admit to noticing everything your colleague does or doesn’t do.

It may be true that small talk won’t solve the world’s problems, but it doesn’t really add to them either. In fact, mindful small talk shows awareness of what is important, notices it and also comments on it. At the very least, this can distract from such problems and make us feel more content. It’s the goal of mindfulness. And where’s the harm in that?

Schlagwörter: Smalltalk, English, Englisch, Geschäft, Kompliment

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