How to start an interesting conversation

Are you a shy person who just wants to connect with your colleagues and be noticed? Finding the best way to start an interesting conversation can help you build workplace relationships and get ahead in your career.

Asking someone for their advice is the best way to start a conversation. The next best way is to offer your assistance to try and find common ground. As a last resort, offer a compliment (e.g. about a work skill or project) to invite the other person to share their learnings or experience.

Having quality conversations with colleagues and peers helps you:

  • be more approachable in the workplace
  • be more likely to be selected to participate in project work
  • hear about new ways to solve business problems
  • build better working relationship which may boost your career prospects

How to

One of the most effective ways to start a conversation with someone you don’t know is:

  1. Ask for the person’s name, if you don’t know it
  2. Avoid small-talk topics like the weather or what the person did on the weekend
  3. Ask if the person is currently working on anything intersting
  4. Offer your assistance to help the person with a small project or activity
  5. Give someone an appropriate compliment
  6. Find common ground with the person

Examples

  • “Hi, I don’t think we’ve met. My name is..”
  • “I heard you were working on a project, can you tell me what that’s about..”
  • “I saw your presentation the other day, can you tell me more about that..”
  • “I’m looking for somewhere new to go for lunch, do you have any recommendations?”