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The holiday season is nearly upon us, which means that party season is also about to kick into full gear.  Between workplace and club end-of-year parties and friends’ holiday happy hours, it’s the perfect time to establish new connections and strengthen existing ones. In other words, it’s time to brush up your networking skills.

One of the most common complaints about attending parties is the unending stream of small talk.  If fill-in-the-blank party conversations that center around “what’s new?” and “what do you do?” bore you, why not take control of the situation and make things more interesting for yourself and others?  Here is a list of conversation starters that can help you connect better, or at least lead to more interesting discussions:

  • Have you been working on anything exciting recently?
  • Any exciting plans for this winter?
  • What do you like to do when you’re not working?
  • What personal projects have you been working on lately?
  • What’s your favorite fun thing to do at this time of year?
  • What’s been the highlight of your week so far?
  • How did you get into your line of work?
  • What’s keeping you busy lately?
  • What songs have you added to your playlist recently?
  • What was the most recent song you listened to?

Why are these such good questions?  They force people to think, which makes you stand out from the crowd.  They also allow you to learn about the person and find common ties between you.  Once you find that common tie, it is easier to have a conversation about something that you actually enjoy.  If it’s a fun conversation for both of you, you are both more likely to remember each other.  Remembering and enjoying each other’s company is the first step to building a new connection.

If you want to learn more about networking strategies and skills, contact Comprehensive Learning Solutions.  We partner with Contacts Count to teach practical, fun, and interactive course on networking.  We can customize the course to meet your organization’s needs