You’ve got an event coming up and your boss suggests that you meet and travel together. You know that this is a great opportunity to have one to one time with her, but are not sure if you have anything in common. You start to imagine an hour of silence, or talking about the weather and realize that this could be the longest and most career-annihilating hour of your life.
Well here are some suggestions to move you from mediocre to memorable in the eyes of your boss.
The key to making small talk with your boss is to listen to what they say and pay attention to their body language. What they say and do will provide you with important information on the type of small talk that will land with your them.
1. Less talk more listening
By listening and observing, you can find out:
• Their interests outside work – family, sports, music, gadgets?
• What type of information they listen to most – targets, ideas, relationships or facts and figures?
• What style or approach they are most receptive to, such as humour, thought provoking questions, fast paced banter or relaxed over coffee.
2. Make connection
Knowing what their interests are means you can ask: how are the children, family or new car? Try also to make connections with your life, if you don’t have children perhaps you can talk about a friends child or a niece of nephew. Or maybe you are thinking of going on holiday, and your boss has just been, you can ask for the inside track on the country they visited.
3. Their story
People love to share their story, asks your boss about their route to the top. They’ll be flattered into sharing the benefit of their wisdom.
4. Share your passion
If you have an interesting or unusual hobby, or passion that is appropriate to talk about in the work environment, share it with your boss, it is helpful for them to see you bursting with enthusiasm, it also demonstrates you as well rounded and will help you to be memorable.
5. Be real
Most importantly be genuine, your boss will spot fake interest a mile off.
I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role – the how to guide to success for female breadwinners. Find out more about me, my programmes, speaking engagements and training at rockingyourrole.com and sign up for my newsletter