Conversation guide at the cafeteria
At the cafeteria, you do your best to sit next to your favorite colleague Geraldine. But at times, it’s not possible. So, you end up sitting next to Harvey the network administrator, with whom you haven’t exchanged a word since 2 years when you joined the company or Jordan the little intern, whose job you don’t even know. Perhaps he’s the son of your boss’s good buddy. During these moments, one feels quite uncomfortable and the meal is going to be long. To breach these silences, here is a little conversation guide for the cafeteria. With these questions, you can begin a conversation and definitely improve your meal.
« By the way, what’s your name? »
Why make things complicated? Just asking for the person’s name could be a way of beginning the conversation. After which show the person you remember the name by placing it several times in the conversation. People love being called by their name. However, this technique only works with people you’ve never spoken to (tough to use this in an SME). Avoid asking the name of a person, with whom you’ve had many discussions as the latter (rightfully) may get hurt.
Probability of starting an interesting conversation: ⭐⭐ (you’ll need to be skillful to carry on the conversation Ex: oh, it’s funny, where does this name come from? -Eh….US?
Risk: ⭐⭐ This question isn’t very risky, except that you might end up offending a person, whose name you already know.
« How is your pay like? »
What’s wrong about asking how a person’s pay is like? After all, it’s just to make sure that the gap between yours and his salary isn’t too high, which could be another argument during your next salary negotiation…There is a major chance that the person in front of you might be shaken up a little by this sudden question and after a moment of hesitation, he/she may say “yes but you know, it depends on the month, there is a variable part, bonus etc.….”. Stop with the baloney! You need to keep things straight and narrow and ask for a clear answer: what is this person’s monthly net salary!
Probability of starting an interesting conversation: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ It’s an opportunity to trigger several alluring topics for discussion: difference of salary for men/women, the fact that you’re being exploited since 2 years, etc.…
Risk: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ One must admit, that everybody isn’t ready to talk about their salary. Especially John, who earns like 10 000 bucks every month, not to mention leaving the office at 5.
“What do you think about signing up for this ongoing social movement here”
A super interesting opportunity for discussions, if you begin talking about the ongoing social movement! If it’s many of you on the table, it’s even better, everyone can pitch in! Of course, nobody will agree with one another. The best of the best: ensure that the union delegates are present on the table, these are always the good clients! With some luck, your meal will end in a general squabble. What could be more interesting!
Probability of starting an interesting conversation: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ a good fight between colleagues, always feels good.
Risk: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The risk is at its peak, but this is exactly the effect you’re looking for. If you come to the office on a scooter, you can bring along your helmet to protect yourself from potential injuries.
« What’s your Instagram? »
An old technique like everyone, to implement your seduction strategy and hope that you appeal to your office crush: asking for this person’s Instagram. The latter will be delighted to give it to you (well of course, one isn’t going to give up on the opportunity of getting another follower) and while at it, showing you endless photo collections with his/her dog (surely an ugly looking dog but you need to play along). This way, you’ll be able to carry on easily and talk about other things, but mostly, you can get in touch with this person and ask him/her out for a drink…The ball is in your court.
Probability of starting an interesting conversation: ⭐⭐⭐ it all depends on the Instagram profile of the person in question.
Risk: ⭐⭐ Not many risks actually, except being turned down kindly. Avoid asking for Martha the accountant’s Instagram, who is going to retire in two weeks.
More informations here 50 unique ways of rewarding your collaborators and making them happy