S1E5: Why is small talk important?

S1E5: Why is small talk important?

Welcome to episode 5. So now that you know what small talk is, why is this a skill worth mastering?

Whilst at first it may seem inconsequential, small talk is in fact an essential part of doing business and building strong and healthy relationships with clients formed on trust, loyalty and mutual respect.

Small talk shows the human side of your company. You are not just a business robot going through the motions, and neither are your clients! Show them that!

Think about it – would you rather do business with a company where you walk between business meetings in stony silence, or one where you are engaged with someone in friendly, chatty conversation and who helps you to relax?

In Julian Treasure’s TED TALK, ‘How to speak so that people want to listen’, he has some invaluable advice on How to speak so that people want to listen and uses the acronym HAIL (Honesty, Authenticity, Integrity and Love) as the guidepost for his conversations.

Equally importantly, he talks about what things people don’t want to listen to. It is very difficult to listen to someone who is repeatedly negative. Complaining, which he describes as ‘viral misery’, is hard to listen to. Be sure also to avoid being dogmatic — recognise the difference between fact and opinion. You can find the link to this insightful TED Talk in the episode notes, and it also forms part of the Small Talk course in the Intrepid English Academy.

To conclude this section of the course, quality small talk is important for:

  • Building relationships with people so you can work with them on an ongoing basis
  • Improving workplace atmosphere and general feeling of workers
  • Getting to know your clients and the people you work with – showing a genuine interest in them as human beings rather than just workers
  • Learning new things – learn from the people you work with (this could be business-related skills or just general knowledge)
  • Helping the people you are working with to relax and feel comfortable, thereby making them more open to proposals you may have
  • Improving your own self-esteem
  • Practising your English skills!

Thank you for listening to this original audio course from Intrepid English. To access your free downloadable worksheets and transcripts that accompany this course, click on the link in the episode notes.

This content was written and recorded by Intrepid English Teacher Kate B.

You can find out more about Kate B on her Intrepid English Teacher Profile Page.

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