Making friends and building relationships is not easy for most of us.
Often the problem is moving beyond traditional conversation lines, such as: “Hi, how are you today?” and “Not the best weather, let’s hope it’ll be better for the weekend.”
These lines do at least get you into a conversation with someone, but often their response closes down the interaction immediately: “I’m good thanks” and “The weather should be fine for the weekend.”
If you find yourself getting stuck for words at this point, then you need to learn how to boost your interpersonal skills.
If You Want to Keep a Conversation Going, You Should Make It Like Playing Ping Pong.
If you’ve ever played table tennis, then you’ll be able to quickly grasp the art of self-disclosure.
For example, when playing table tennis (also known as ping pong) with someone, you’ll be engaging in a back-and-forth action with them. This is similar to how conversations are started and sustained.
One party introduces an idea or question – and the other party comments or answers.
Self-disclosure follows the same pattern. For instance, you’ve gone to lunch with a new colleague and beyond talking about the food – you’ve begun to run out of things to say. In this case, you could move into self-disclosure mode and say something like: “You may not believe it, but I’ve been working here for over 10 years. In fact, this is the longest job I’ve ever had.”
By disclosing these couple of interesting facts about yourself, it’s highly likely that your new colleague will choose to share something about themselves too. They may reply by saying: “Wow, 10 years is a long time. My longest job was only for 6 years. However, my wife has been working at the same place for 12 years now. That’s…