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How To Deal With 5 Common Awkward Conversational Moments

https://www.fastcompany.com/3038992/how-to-deal-with-5-common-awkward-conversational-moments

fastcompany.com

How To Deal With 5 Common Awkward Conversational Moments
But often, the most difficult conversations are moments within our everyday communication. So from introducing yourself to someone new to tripping over your words, we've pinpointed some of the most awkward conversational pratfalls and how to overcome them. Many times, the hardest part of a conversation is starting it.

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The Most Awkward Conversational Pratfalls

The Most Awkward Conversational Pratfalls
  1. Approaching for the first time someone you don’t know: focus on them, ask about them and approach humbly.
  2. Deciding when to end a conversation: you can end the conversation by excusing yourself and saying you have something that needs to be attended to.
  3. Awkward silences: knowing when to shift to another topic, introducing a new person to the conversation or even having a few conversation-continuers at the ready can help.
  4. Accidentally saying something inappropriate: apologize quickly, admit the embarrassment, and, if you mean it, apologize without excuses. Trying to smooth it over will dig the hole deeper.
  5. When someone else says something inappropriate: by diffusing the situation, and redirecting the conversation. Practicing active listening reveals when to intervene.

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Step #5: Exits

Step #5: Exits

Use bookmarks to end well. Examples:

  • Future Mentions: “Well, I can’t wait to see you at that ___ coming up—I’ll email you!
  • Inside Jokes: “It was g...

Step #4: Evaluate Your Conversational Performance

After an event ask yourself what went well, what did you learn and who should you follow-up with so you can keep learning and honing your ability. 

This can help you identify patterns and remember to follow up on bookmarks, LinkedIn connections and promises.

Step #3: Bookmarking

Use the ‘Bookmarking’ technique to create a deeper connection by adding verbal markers or emphasis to parts of the conversation:

  • Future Mentions: saying something that will require follow up on later.
  • Inside Jokes: making jokes that refer to something interesting or funny you and the listener was involved in.
  • Same Same: exclaiming how crazy it is you have something in common and talking about it.
  • You Have to See: saying that you will share something they are interested in with them later.

Decreasing Awkwardness

Decreasing Awkwardness
  • Find common interests and discuss them.
  • Encourage others to talk about what interests them.
  • Be gentle or help someone out, even if it is on a small thing.

Situations That Lead To Awkwardness

  • Walking into a room where you don't know any of the other people.
  • Being in a situation in which you don't know what you are supposed to do.
  • You are all talking amongst yourself and an unknown person approaches the group.
  • When a conversation does not go smoothly. 
  • Discomfort around food. 
  • Invading someone else's personal space—or having your own space invaded.
  • Not remembering someone or their name or not being remembered.
  • Been put in the spotlight or when others start talking about you while you are in the same room.