Networking Information

Why Cant I Start A Conversation With You?


One out of every ten Americans has a fear of talking to strangers. When you enter a room full of new faces, to start these conversations seems like an impossible task. You wait and wait and hope to God someone else says hello first, but the apprehensive silence persists. Then nobody talks to anybody.

This unwillingness to communicate will result in missed opportunities to meet new friends and make valuable connections. Your initial timidity takes time and practice to overcome. However, the more often you throw yourself into the sea, the less likely the waves are to bother you.

Below are four major roadblocks that stand in your way of starting conversations. The solutions to these problems will equip you with the motivation to stop falling asleep behind the conversational wheel.

The Fear of Rejection
They won't say hello back to me. They won't be interested in me. I will make a fool of myself.

This is the number one reason people don't start conversations. However, practice will make this fear fade away. The more you often you start conversations, the better you will become at it. So, be the first to introduce yourself or say hello. When you take an active instead of a passive role, your skills will develop and there will be less of a chance for rejection. Also understand the gains vs. losses. For example, what's so bad about a rejection from someone you don't even know? On the other hand, a new contact awaits your introduction!

Nothing Good to Say
I can't think of anything good to say. I never break the ice. Opening lines are difficult to put into action.

Be certain to ask open ended questions with such words as "How is??" "Why are??" and "What was??" These questions elicit elaboration, explanation and show the other person you have taken an interest in them. Also give a compliment about something you've noticed followed by a related inquiry. Not only does this appeal to someone's personal interests, but it flatters them and satisfies the number one human desire to feel appreciated. Finally, offer an interesting piece of knowledge or trivia. Facts like these are more engaging than the weather and will lead your conversation to new and exciting directions.

Uncertainty of Involvement
All of these people are strangers. I came into the conversation too late. I'm not sure how to get involved with the discussion.

Be an active listener. Make eye contact with the speaker. And, keep your ears open for iceberg statements. These are pieces of free information where ninety percent is under the surface ready to be talked about. For example, listen for an implied statement about someone's family or a key phrase such as "independent contractor." Be sure to smile, nod and respond with follow up inquiries. This allows you to become included as a part of the conversation.

Perception of Conversational Value
Small talk is a waste of my time. There's no reason to interact to these people. I won't gain anything if I say hello to the woman next to me.

Yes you will! You will gain something if you talk to the woman next to you. People start conversations for five reasons: to help, to learn, to relate, to influence and to play. Think of the potential value! And you never know whom you will meet. "Fear not to entertain strangers for in so doing some will entertain angels unaware." Remember, some people enter into your lives and change it forever. But, until you own the attitude that every conversation will affect your life, whatever gain is accrued when you engage in social interaction will continue to be outweighed by your fear.

Ultimately, initiating the conversation is half the battle. It's the most difficult part of interpersonal communication, and therefore an important skill to master. Overcoming your initial fear of rejection will come as you start more conversations, more often. When you use open ended questions which appeal to the needs and interests of others, the probability of rejection will significantly reduce. And, when you become a more active listener with the attitude that conversations do have value, you no longer have to worry about falling asleep behind the conversational wheel.

© 2005 All Rights Reserved.

Scott Ginsberg is a professional speaker, "The World's Foremost Expert on Nametags" and the author of HELLO my name is Scott and The Power of Approachability. He helps people MAXIMIZE their approachability and become UNFORGETTABLE communicators - one conversation at a time. For more information contact Front Porch Productions at http://www.hellomynameisscott.com.


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Forbes

Networking Isn't Weird. You're Just Overthinking It.
Forbes
For some people, the thought of networking is just as daunting as public speaking. Picture it and you'll probably imagine being in a room full of people struggling to hold a conversation with each other. With a dry mouth and sweaty palms, you ...



The Register

The Social Network™ releases its data networking code
The Register
Facebook has sent another shiver running up Cisco's spine, by releasing the code it uses for packet routing. Open/R, its now-open source routing platform, runs Facebook's backbone and data centre networks. The Social Network™ first promised to release ...



India Software Defined Networking Market - Forecast to Grow at a CAGR of 36% During 2017-2022 - Research and ...
Business Wire (press release)
The India software defined networking market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 36% till 2022. Growth is expected to be driven by rising awareness about software defined networking and increasing need for more agile and efficient networking ...

and more »


Forbes

Could Quantum Networking Be The Next Big (IT) Thing?
Forbes
Foundry innovation lab located in the heart of Silicon Valley to learn more about quantum networking, which promises similar results. The team in Palo Alto has incubated nearly 150 projects since its inception, and in May of this year announced a ...



Fast Company

What To Do 30 Days, Hours, and Minutes Before A Networking Event
Fast Company
See who's going, says Dorie Clark, author of Stand Out Networking: A Simple and Authentic Way to Meet People on Your Own Terms. The event organizer will often publish the names and bios of people who'll be there, she says. “Get a head start by ...



SD-WAN best path to virtualized networks of the future
TechTarget
This segmented approach will contribute less to virtual networking over time, however, and it will be relatively unimportant in a decade. The reason is most virtual networks are built to support multi-tenant cloud computing, and segmenting real devices ...

and more »


TechCrunch

Facebook open sources Open/R distributed networking software ...
TechCrunch
Facebook is no stranger when it comes to open sourcing its computing knowledge. Over the years, it has consistently created software and hardware internally,..

and more »


Financial News

The Careerologist: I HATE networking at conferences
Financial News
I HATE networking at conferences. It all feels so false and I don't feel confident enough to just introduce myself to someone I don't know and probably don't want to. Can you help? You are not alone. Conference networking makes most of us feel icky ...



Silicom Announces Strategic New SD-WAN Award: Leading Cloud Networking Solutions Provider to Use Silicom's ...
Markets Insider
KFAR SAVA, Israel, Nov. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Silicom Ltd. (NASDAQ: SILC) today announced that a leading provider of Cloud-based networking solutions has selected Silicom's vCPE edge devices as its hardware platform for a customized Cloud-based ...

and more »


Canal Chamber Combines Toy Drive With Networking
CapeNews.net
This networking event with the canal region and Plymouth area chambers of commerce includes complimentary hors d'oeuvres and cash bar. This is a holiday social gathering to support Toys for Tots. Participants are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy to ...


Google News

home | site map
© 2006