- Baseball game with clients and staff
- Garden party celebrating our company’s 40th anniversary (btw Hudson Gardens is a beautiful venue!)
- Back to school, parent education night
- School bus stop with other parents
It’s been a busy week!
There are a couple of tips and tricks for situations like these.
- When you are introduced to someone, try to say their name 2 or 3 times. It helps you to remember it and not have to do that very embarrassing – “What was your name again?” just a few minutes after they just told you. So, it would go like this…”Greg? Nice to meet you Greg. Are you enjoying yourself tonight Greg?”
- If someone gives you a business card – take the time to LOOK at it! It is inconsiderate to not look at their information when they have handed it to you. Looking at the card and commenting on their title, or something else, shows interest. Then once you are alone, jot down notes on the back of the card to help you remember the face with the name and any relevant information.
- Use the house method if you are stymied for topics to discuss. This was explained to me on a white board with stick figures drawn in as each topic was explained. It goes something like this…
- Draw a house in your mind. The house symbolizes “So where are you from Greg?, Really, what part of town do you live in?”
- The next step is to draw stick figures of people in the front yard. “So Greg, do you have any kids? Grandkids?” Kids and dogs usually spur a lengthy discussion!
- After the people, then you start to add props, such as a soccer ball. “Do you play any sports Greg? Golf? Mountain biking?” Whatever seems appropriate to the person you are talking to. But in general, this question is finding out about their passions and leisure activities.
- Once you’ve completed the front yard, move onto the sky and draw an airplane. “Greg, any vacations lined up? Going anywhere special this year?”
It’s likely that you won’t make it through these four conversation starters. One of the first ones is likely to snag the other person’s attention and start the conversation flowing. However, it is always comforting to have backups just in case!!
What about you? Any tips you have that work for you? Comments on etiquette for these types of things?