Small talk

There is always some room for improvement.

a year ago   •   1 min read

By Vladimír Záhradník

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to talk about the weather or football scores. I get tired of such conversations easily… And that’s why I try to subtly redirect the discussion to address deeper topics. I want to get to know people, I want to know their view of the world. And when you get beyond small talk, that’s when you can connect with people on a much deeper level.

Today I learned another hint on how to do that. When you meet someone and you start to get to know them, you ask them, for example, “What do you do for a living?” And he’ll answer, say, “I’m a programmer at Ness.”

Now you can start asking him questions that will reveal his inner self, his values, and his principles:
❓ Do you like your job?
❓ Why did you become a software engineer?
❓ Don’t you sometimes feel like you’re just an ant in a big anthill?
❓ Have you ever thought about changing careers?
❓ …

For every answer, you can find other points to latch onto. And you can ask more questions based on them.
❓ Why did you become a software engineer?
➤ I’ve been close to technology since I was a kid. Even as a kid, I was playing repairman, watching my grandfather at work, taking things apart, trying to understand how they worked…
❓ Wow, from what you’ve told me, you seem to be very creative… I guess one doesn’t get bored with you. But seriously, don’t you have so many hobbies that even 24 hours isn’t enough for you?

This was an example, a bit of an autobiography 🙂 But hopefully you understand the principle. The debate is no longer superficial, you are interested in the other person, and apparently he starts to be interested in you too. And I think you can learn a lot from everyone… even if they’re completely different from you. And maybe those are the ones you learn the most from. Because you get out of your social bubble, which is incredibly beneficial.

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