Join Tatiana Kolovou for an in-depth discussion in this video Entering and exiting a conversation, part of Communication Tips Weekly.
- There's an art to interacting with an already-formed group of people in a social or business setting. Here are group entering and exiting tips for making the somewhat awkward situation into a more comfortable one. The toughest part of an already-formed social group is entering it. The strategy is to stand in the outskirts of the circle the group has formed. Make eye contact with the speaker, follow the content of the conversation, and wait for a pause in the flow of the conversation. At the right time of that pause, make a relevant comment about what the group is discussing and quickly introduce yourself.
Being brought in by an insider is always a safe way to go with a new group. If there is someone in the group whom you know, ask them to introduce you to the rest of the group. Listen attentively and eventually make a comment. A side note on commentary, make sure to keep your comments relevant and informed. Catching up on local news and culture before you interact is a good idea. Shake hands with people whom you're meeting and repeat their names and yours. Hello, John. My name is Tatiana.
It's a pleasure to meet you, John. Repeating names will help you with retention. If you're like me and have trouble with names, repeat it silently and use it as often as possible. If it's an uncommon name, ask the person for the spelling or possibly ask them to repeat it for the correct pronunciation. Use the name again when you depart and write it down, with a short line describing the person as a reminder to yourself. In a cocktail party type of environment, conversation exiting has to be strategic.
When you need to move on and end a conversation with someone in the group, introduce them to a third party and then mention something that the two have in common as a topic of discussion. Then excuse yourself. Another option is to offer taking the person you met with you to the next group of people you just want to connect them with. For example, you can say, let's check in with the group that planned this event and give them our thanks. I see them over there. When you exit a group conversation, again, excuse yourself politely and announce one of the three B's for your next stop, bathroom, bar, or bounce to another group.
Set a goal for the next company function you attend. Stay outside of the talking circle and try using the group entering techniques listed above. To make your stance more comfortable, hold a drink in your hand. Pay attention to people's name tags and then try to use their names when you introduce yourself. Group entering and exiting communication tips can be effective and teachable. Observe people who demonstrate them gracefully and practice your skills with every opportunity you have.
- Understanding introversion and extroversion
- Persuading people
- Negotiating your needs
- Making small talk
- Saying no
- And more…
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