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  • Have you ever been in an elevator only to realize you have nothing to say when your boss steps in?

  • Before you hyperventilate even thinking about it, take into consideration these tips to become more conversational.

  • Most opportunities spark from conversation.

  • It's a free investment. You'll be recognized for taking the time to chat with that person.

  • And a study from the University of Michigan showed that social interactions boost problem-solving skills by forcing you to read people's minds and take their perspective.

  • First, look for someone approachable.

  • Start with a smile and introduction.

  • This puts everyone at ease.

  • Communications expert Carol Fleming says to remember the acronym ARE.

  • Anchor.

  • Find something you have in common.

  • This can be something you've experienced or something you're both experiencing in that moment.

  • Reveal.

  • Say something about yourself that relates to your anchor topic, creating trust and providing something for them to respond to.

  • Encourage.

  • This is your time to ask a question pumping them to respond.

  • Keep your questions open-ended.

  • This allows for a more in-depth conversation.

  • If you're stumped for a topic, stick to easy ones like their job, hobbies, and family.

  • But always remember: stay away from controversial topics like politics.

  • A compliment works well too.

  • Just be sure to transition the conversation afterward.

  • Some people don't know how to handle them.

  • Using the person's name in conversation will also yield good results.

  • People appreciate the special attention.

  • And remember to listen.

  • People love to talk about themselves.

  • Restate what you hear to show you are listening.

  • Now is not the time to be shy.

  • Get in that elevator, smile, and make small talk.

Have you ever been in an elevator only to realize you have nothing to say when your boss steps in?

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