Connecting with colleagues at work is among the best things you can do to improve your effectiveness in the workplace. And while it’s easy to lean over to Amy in the next cubicle and ask her how her weekend went, when it comes to a more senior colleague in the corner office, the idea of starting a conversation can be intimidating. So what should you say when you hop on an elevator and find yourself one on one with the managing director?
Ask About Them
Generally speaking, people feel comfortable, and enjoy, talking about themselves. While it might be intimidating to start the conversation, the easiest way to get it going is to ask a question to which you know that senior colleague has an answer. Questions about their commute, hobbies and television shows you know they enjoy, or a recent vacation are all lighthearted, easy, and enjoyable. Who doesn’t like talking about the trout they bagged over the weekend, or the latest storyline on Scandal? The point of these conversations is to build some common ground so the next time you find yourself in the elevator you can see if they enjoyed the Mad Men finale as much as you did.