The way you communicate with your colleagues has a great impact on the impression you create in a workplace. You need to consider many diverse aspects while communicating at your workplace. The communication may vary at different levels in a workplace. The tone you maintain with a boss and the tone you maintain with a colleague or a client are bound to be different. Similarly, the topics you choose to discuss too varies. People who do not consider all these aspects while conversing at their workplace fail miserably in building good professional relationships.
Here are some tips and suggestions that will help you come up with interesting conversation topics with different people at your workplace:
Killer Conversation Tactics:
While Speaking To Bosses: It is not easy to come up with communication topics when you are conversing with your bosses. A great amount of caution needs to be maintained as any word you speak may backfire on you and may affect your job life greatly. Here are some suggestions on what conversation topics to choose to keep the boss interested and impressed.
Do Not Speak About Office Politics: Issues related to office management and the politics within the office may be interesting but it is best to avoid speaking about this with your boss. Most often, bias and partiality within an organisation happens with the knowledge of the top authority and the bosses. By speaking against the office management, you may actually be criticising decisions of your boss. This may simply offend him. So it is best to avoid such topics if you really want the boss to be interested in a positive way in what you speak.
Avoid Conversation Regarding Personal Matters: The relationship with your boss should be thoroughly professional. It is best never to pick up topics associated with personal matters like relationships while speaking to your boss. You need to know your limits. It is quite possible that some bosses may not take your casual tone in the right sense.
If you have problems and worries at your home front, leave it at home. Do not while and grieve over your own sorry tales in front of your boss. It is a very bad topic to speak about and most often such conversations turn out to be one sided and dull.
Try to Discuss Your Opinion on Current Project Functioning: Bosses always enjoy hearing about work and ongoing projects. So you can try and discuss about different aspects of the current project. Your boss will surely appreciate your dedication towards work. He may also provide some valuable suggestions regarding work methods and improvements. These may help you gain more relevant knowledge regarding the particular project.
Speak About Innovations or Modifications Your Would Like to See In The Company: A boss is always keen to know how he can improve the work scenario and gain more profits. While he may not take your observations regarding management policies in the right sense, he will surely appreciate if you suggest means to improve productivity. You need to stay upto date with the latest technology to be in a position to suggest about the same to your boss. Even for a casual conversation with your boss, you may have to do a thorough research beforehand. This will ensure that your boss listens to you with keen interest and you do not make a mockery out of yourself.
While Speaking To Clients: Conversation topics with your clients will be quite different from conversation topics with your boss. You may not have to maintain a serious tone all the time as clients belong to different levels. You must understand the type of client and pick a conversation topic accordingly. In case of clients, the topics you pick up should interest them otherwise it may affect a long business relationship.
Try To Pick Up Topics that Reveal Your Knowledge and Experience in the Field: Many times you have to fix deals with clients or simply officialise a deal that is finalised. In either case, you cannot afford the client to get an impression that you lack knowledge in the field as it may act against you. Speak about some similar past projects. Show them how you helped in the successful completion of these projects. It will not just earn their respect but also help them finalise their decision regarding the project.
Discuss About Clients’ Expectations in the Project: A client is always anxious about his project. He is always keen to know whether his project will be completed at the right time. He is also inquisitive to know whether he is investing in the right firm and company. It is better to avoid small talk and discuss about the project instead. It will help to release some pressure from the mind of the client.
Many times projects fail because the firms fail to ask about the client’s expectations and what he wants from the project. So when you are having a meeting with the client, it would be wise to discuss the client’s expectations. It will also help you get a clear picture regarding the project.
Speak on World Issues or General Topics: If you are having a general discussion with your client and it is not related to work, you must avoid speaking about religious beliefs. You may instead talk about some general topics like the recent elections, various movements, progress, need of eco friendliness and similar other topics. These are topics that reveal your awareness about world issues without rousing any personal negative emotions that may hamper the client-company relationship.
While speaking to the client, you need to take pains to assess the client’s body language. Sometimes, an uncomfortable body language or posture may reveal that you have picked up a wrong conversation topic and you may subtly change the topic.
While Speaking To Colleagues: While you do not stay in continuous touch with your bosses or clients, colleagues are people you need to speak to all the time. Such close interaction automatically brings in a casual tone to the conversation. We often tend to be extremely free with our colleagues. Yet, there are some things you need to keep in mind while interacting with colleagues like what topics you speak about. Colleagues can put your job in a jeopardy if you speak the wrong thing in front of them. Often colleagues and peers are competitors and they could be jealous of your achievements and success. If you deal with them wisely, you can avoid troubles. Here are some interesting topics that you may discuss with your colleagues:
Speak About Projects: Very often, our views are constrained by our limited knowledge. This prevents us from getting the best out of a certain project. Discussing with colleagues about a certain project where you all work together will help you to know their views. This will surely broaden your perspective and will help you see things in a new light.
It is thus a great idea to speak about existing projects and their progress. Try to lean new things and gain fresh knowledge. It will surely help you perform better at your workplace.
Speak About Job Options and Alternatives: Casual talk with your colleagues can help you know about new job alternatives and options. It is thus a great idea to speak about job scenario, job market and alternative job options with your colleagues. You can add strength to the bond by having some snacks or tea with them. Often tea time is the best time to interact with your colleagues. After a lot of work, a little chatting can help the mind relax a bit.
A Little Gossip on Office Politics Won’t Do Much Harm: While you cannot afford to gossip with your bosses or clients, peers offer that wee bit of freedom for sure. You get to know the latest news about the management, company profits and similar other facts through office gossips. Unlike household gossips that are meant only to tarnish other’s image, office gossip can be much healthier. It may even assist you in making the right decisions related to change.
Speak About Things You Wish To Learn: Learning is a continuous process. There is really no end to learning. A casual chat with your colleagues that help you gain knowledge in your field is surely the most intelligent chat. So try to speak to your senior friends and acquire knowledge and skills that may help you in the future.
Coming up with good conversation topics in a professional environment can be quite challenging. You need to weigh the pros against the cons before you come up with any topic. Conversation is the first step to building smooth and strong professional relationships. People who lack in communication skills suffer greatly inspite of their knowledge. While the topic you choose for conversation is significant, there are other aspects that matter too to create the right impression. These are dressing sense, body language and posture. Interesting topics are just one of the aspects.