Starting a conversation can be difficult at times, especially if you are a new employee at work. For many of us, the first day on the job, we are nervous and anxious to get settled into our new environment as quickly as possible, which does include meeting the people around us and begin establishing bonds with them.
As a new employee we often don’t know anyone and aren’t sure how we might break the ice or start a conversation so that we can get know our co-workers. No-one likes feeling like the outsider and as a new employee we want to feel that we are a part of the team as soon as we can. One way to that is to take the first step in initiating a conversation with those around us. The following are some easy conversation starters that anyone can use at work.
Practically any subject can be used as a conversation starter with people you know. However, with people you don’t know you want to be careful about what subject you choose to start a conversation with.
After introducing yourself a neutral question like, “How long have you been working here?” or “What’s it like working here?” might help get the conversational ball rolling.
Notice that these questions are open-ended question that require more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. If you are really interested in having a conversation with someone, ask open-ended questions. But be careful not to ask a barrage of questions without becoming involved in the conversation.
Pet peeves can make excellent conversation starters in the workplace because everyone has them. You might be able to open a conversation by telling a story regarding a pet peeve of yours. Make your story interesting, maybe even funny to lighten the moment and help the other feel more comfortable with you.
Many people can relate to other people’s pet peeves and this can then possibly inspire the other. After you have told your story you may find the other person telling you about one of their pet peeves.
Funny quotes or stories are excellent conversation starters, especially when trying to start a conversation with someone you have just met. Humor has a way of lightening up tense situations like meeting someone new.
Moreover, using funny stories to start a conversation shows the other person that you have a sense of humor. Humor is an easy conversation starter and is especially effective in the work place.
If there are several people around, like in the break room, use conversation starters that most people can relate to. For example, if there are several men in the room you might be able to use last night’s football game as a conversation starter.
If there are both men and women in the break room find something in the area to use as a conversation starter.
If you attend meetings as part of your work this can be a source for conversation starters. An example might be, “I saw you in the meeting last week. What did you think of Jane’s presentation?”
As the other person talks to you pay attention to what they are saying. When we show we are interested in what the other has to say this often times opens the door to further conversation.
Big news stories are also easy conversation starters that anyone can use at work. There is almost always something big and spectacular going on in the news and many people like talking about those events. News topics frequently make good conversation starters with just about anyone.