How to Say Just the Right Thing in an Awkward Conversation

Posted: September 11, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Facing an awkward conversation? Use these tips from Debra Fine, author of The Fine Art of Small Talk, and you’ll never scramble for the right words.

When you’re in the elevator:
No need to talk to a stranger. But if it’s someone you know or, worse, your boss, say, “Hi,” then “Have a great day” as you get off. You’re being polite but not pressuring her into a stop-and-chat.

When a friend is going through a tough time:
Whatever it is, she no doubt needs to be heard. So ask how she’s doing, and say “That sounds frustrating,” or “What happened next?” to let her know you are truly interested.

When you’re at a party with strangers:
Lead with what brought you both there. Ask “How do you know the host?” Common ground is a great ice-breaker.

Kimberly Holland

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