Topic: "Small Talk"
We listed the following list up on the board:
Then, we watched an Ellen Degeneres clip on small talk. Even celebrities struggle with small talk!
There is nothing small about small talk. It's an essential people skill. It is the first step to creating relationships, it opens opportunities and it creates self-confidence. We often are shy to engage in small talk with others, but other people are just as shy as you are. It's a great relief when someone initiates a conversation and saves you from being socially awkward.
Then, we modeled a good and bad small talk situation.
The scene that we modeled was two strangers being on an airplane. We modeled a good small talk situation and a bad small talk situation.
Then, students each had scenarios and they had 5 minutes to role play a good small talk situation.
The first scenario was two people on an elevator going up 21 floors.
The second scenario were two people who didn't know anybody at a party.
The students did very well! It was great to see their people skills come out in this exercise.
We reviewed yesterday by reading an article:"6 Reasons Small Talk Is Very Important and How to Get Better at it"
The major reasons why small talk is important:
1. Small talk is where it all begins. Everything starts with small conversations. It's a free investment that can lead to big things.
2. Studies show that small talk helps you become a creative problem solver.
3. Small talk helps you feel better. As humans, we crave connection -- so it just feels good.
4. Small talk makes you likable. People like others who engage them.
5. Small talk is a way of building trust
6. You have no choice. Small talk is a part of working and in in life. Companies want to hire people who can think on their feet.
Then, we took some notes on common Small Talk Topics:
1. Weather -- everyone always has an interest in the weather.
2. Current Events -- subjects other than politics and religion
3. Sports -- there's something for everyone to talk about
4. Compliment -- everyone loves to be paid a compliment from time to time. One of the easiest and effective compliments you can give another person is complimenting something that they are wearing.
5. Environment -- what is going on around you can be a conversational springboard.
6. General questions -- how are you? How are you doing? How was your weekend?
Gradually we moved into handshaking.
We talked about how this is a very traditional American greeting. Other countries also have different customs with handshakes and greetings. We talked about some other countries that greet with a handshake and maybe 2 kisses on each cheek. We talked about a few different countries and how they greet someone new and someone who they are close with.
We passed around some latex gloves to get started.
Then we took some notes on Handshaking tips.
Then, me and our Instructional Assistant modeled a good handshake.
It got funny when we modeled the "Handshakes to Avoid"!!!!
Students then were asked to perform one good handshake with an introduction with their table mate, and then we formed 2 lines and they shook hands both with myself and our Instructional Assistant. They did amazing!
We had a short amount of time, so we talked about PUNCTUALITY on the job.
We talked about how when you are starting a new job, you are usually under a "microscope," as your boss and coworkers will be keeping close attention on your behavior. When lateness occurs, it affects the "machine" of the workplace. When you are punctual, you show that you are committed, interested in working, and that you can handle responsibility.
Punctuality is a sign of respect.
We went over that idea several times. Employees are expected to be dependable.
Then, we took some notes on Punctuality on the workplace. We talked about punctuality being the hallmark of a professional.
Then, FUTURE PROFITS took over. They did the following activities:
Students had a guessing sheet with different brands and were asked to guess the correct price for each brand per industry (e.g. for cell phone service, there were amounts for Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Metro PCS).
Then, students were given a budget, and were asked to adjust their budget based on wanting to buy a new Toyota car. It was a very useful activity and got students thinking about sacrifice.
This blog is about my journey supporting students through transition. The focus is on career development, job readiness and customer service. My name is Kristine and I teach SAI (Specialized Academic Instruction) in a public high school in the Bay Area. I love finding new ways to recreate the "real world" so students feel inherent purpose in what they do in the classroom.