The Art Of Small Talk

Posted by Tom Locke on June 7th, 2019 filed in Business, Education, General, Life

Small talk is generally defined as conversation about things that are not of any great importance.  The topic of weather is a great example.

However, when one focuses small talk on a subject that is of interest to the one who is being addressed then it can be of value.

Dr. Justine Coupland is an expert in the field of sociolinguistics, which is the study of language in relation to social factors. In her book, Small Talk, she provides comprehensive analysis of the powerful and positive effect that small talk has in social interactions. She writes,

“Small talk cannot be dismissed as peripheral, marginal or minor discourse. Small talk is a means by which we negotiate interpersonal relationships. This is a crucial function with significant implications for ongoing and future interactions.”

For me small talk is an art that allows one to connect with another via a subject of interest and is actually a subset of listening.  It also assists in setting the table for engagement.  Successful leaders use small talk with sincerity.

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