Coworking Conversation Starters

Coworking Conversation Starters

WHY CHOOSE A COWORKING SPACE OVER A COFFEE SHOP – COLLABORATION OF COURSE.
 SURE, YOUR LOCAL BARISTA MIGHT BE GOOD FOR A GOSSIP BUT THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE A WORKING ENVIRONMENT WITH A WHOLE COMMUNITY OF INSPIRING INDIVIDUALS IS PRICELESS.

AT GRAVITY WE TAKE SPECIAL CARE TO GET OUR MIX OF COWORKERS JUST RIGHT TO CREATE THE OPTIMUM ENVIRONMENT FOR IDEA SHARING.
 HOW YOU MAKE USE OF THIS POOL OF PROFESSIONALS IS UP TO YOU, BUT WE’RE ON HAND TO HELP YOU GET PAST THE REGULAR NICETIES AND CHIT-CHAT, AND TURN SMALL TALK INTO SMART CONVERSATION.

“WHAT TO TALK ABOUT: ON A PLANE, AT A COCKTAIL PARTY, IN A TINY ELEVATOR WITH YOUR BOSS’S BOSS”, BY CHRIS COLIN AND ROB BAEDEKER IS AN HILARIOUS, TONGUE-IN-CHEEK LOOK AT HOW TO DITCH BANAL DISCUSSION ON THE WEATHER.
 THE FOLLOWING EXCERPT WILL HELP YOU LEAVE A LASTING IMPRESSION ON YOUR FELLOW GRAVITITES #FEELTHEFORCESATWORK.

 

Ask for stories, not answers:

One way to get beyond small talk is to ask open-ended questions. Aim for questions that invite people to tell stories, rather than give bland, one-word answers.
Instead of . . .
“How are you?”
“How was your day?”
“Where are you from?”
“What do you do?”
“What line of work are you in?”
“What’s your name?”
“How was your weekend?”
“What’s up?”
“Would you like some wine?”
“How long have you been living here?”

Try . . .
“What’s your story?”
“What did you do today?”
“What’s the strangest thing about where you grew up?”
“What’s the most interesting thing that happened at work today?”
“How’d you end up in your line of work?”
“What does your name mean? What would you like it to mean?”
“What was the best part of your weekend?”
“What are you looking forward to this week?”
“Who do you think is the luckiest person in this room?”
“What does this house remind you of?”
“If you could teleport by blinking your eyes, where would you go right now?”

 

Break the mirror:

When small talk stalls out, it’s often due to a phenomenon we call “mirroring.” In our attempts to be polite, we often answer people’s questions directly, repeat their observations, or just blandly agree with whatever they say.

Mirrored example:
James: It’s a beautiful day!
John: Yes, it is a beautiful day!
See? By mirroring James’s opinion and language, John has followed the social norm, but he’s also paralysed the discussion and missed a moment of fun. Instead, John needs to practice the art of disruption and move the dialogue forward:

Non-mirrored example:
James: It’s a beautiful day!
John: They say that the weather was just like this when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. If that actually happened.
See? Now James and John are talking! Be provocative. Absurdity is underrated.

 

Leapfrog over the expected response:

An even better way to break the boring-conversation mirror is to skip over the expected response, and go somewhere next-level:
Instead of:
Ron: How was your flight?
Carlos: My flight was good!
Beverly: It’s hot today.
Gino: Yeah, it sure is hot.
Riz: What’s up?
Keil: Hey, what’s up?

Try:
Ron: How was your flight?
Carlos: I’d be more intrigued by an airline where your ticket price was based on your body weight and IQ.
Beverly: It’s hot today.
Gino: In this dimension, yes.
Riz: What’s up?
Keil: Washing your chicken just splatters the bacteria everywhere.

 

Gravitites, try these tips out the next time you’re in line at our Néspresso machine; you never know which ideas will be worth spreading.

This excerpt is from What to Talk About: On a Plane, at a Cocktail Party, in a Tiny Elevator with Your Boss’s Boss by Chris Colin and Rob Baedeker (Chronicle Books). Read more or get the book.