Getting from here to there sometimes isn’t as difficult as we think. If we know ourselves to lead ourselves, it’s possible to make simple decisions which have profound and immediate payoffs. That’s what “Now You Can” is about.
Conversations for Extroverts and Introverts
So, let’s get started. Now you can start a conversation. Immediately I think of the contrast between Extroverts and Introverts. Solar-powered extroverts are energized by the world outside their heads, including other people. Often it’s not hard for an extrovert to start a conversation, and often they feel the responsibility to do so! Introverts are battery-powered, gaining energy from their internal world of thoughts and ideas. Rarely do they feel the responsibility to start or keep a conversation going.
But either way, both extroverts and introverts get stuck at times with the responsibility to get others talking. Here’s a trick I learned from an introverted friend. Use the alphabet.
The ABCs of Conversations
It’s as simple as that. Use the alphabet. Pick a letter from anywhere in the alphabet and use a word that comes to mind to start a conversation.
Like this. I’m in a room with a gathering of people, and it’s awkward. Somebody needs to say something. So I pick a letter. “T”, I think. And I ask, “Anyone have any good tomatoes this summer? There’s nothing like a ripe tomato.” The conversation will probably start. Or target a specific person. “Bob, do you use a traffic app? I use Waze.”
So, the conversation goes for a little while, and now it needs a little catalyzing, so I move to the next letter in the alphabet, “U”. “We’ve sure needed our umbrellas lately. Crazy with the amount of rain we’ve had.”
And after that, “V”.
Seriously, try it. It’s fun, it works, and it’s fascinating to watch how your minimal effort helps to mastermind a fully engaged conversation. You’re the life of the party, and no one even knows it. Now you can start a conversation.