// alternative title: “Father to the rescue”.

This is more or less a copy and paste of an email my dad sent to me. It makes me sad my dad has to tell me these  things. He must feel like he’s talking to his 5 year old daughter. But I’m grateful he took the time to email me. While all of his ideas are easier said (or typed!) than done (or said!), I’m glad he didn’t just get annoyed with me for being useless.

Actually I typed this out, rather than Ctrl + V, Ctrl + C, to drum the ideas into my head. At first I thought I’d write them out on a decorated little card to stick my desk, but then realised I didn’t need to be giving people more reasons to think I’m a weirdo. So they’re staying here!

If I could give one bit of advice it would be to embrace a concept that you have always said you abhor:

RELAX!!! Relax around your co-workers. Just talk to them, talk about anything.

Ask about their hobbies and see what you have in common with them. I would bet you’d find that Art, and maybe even photography, would be a shared interest with more than one.

Find out how long they’ve lived in the area,

what they like best about it and

what things they do on weekends.

And what they did this past weekend.

They’d be interested in how you are settling in.

Talk about travel experiences and which holidays they’ve enjoyed most.

Ask them if they’ve read a good book recently.

Ask them any questions about themselves. People like talking about themselves and their families.

Just talk to them about anything – and then you’ll find it easier when you are having to ask for help.

At the very least try to join in with their conversations.

So, start with a smile and ask what they did on the weekend. Ask if anyone else saw War Horse and talk about that.

Meh I’m basically not good at this stuff. I prepared (that’s probably where I went wrong…) a little not-very-insightful thing to say if someone was discussing War Horse. They weren’t so, instead I blurted it out to someone standing near me. He hadn’t seen the film, so looked at me a little strangely, I said sorry, and the conversation ended there.  Also managed a brief conversation discussing who would look after the phones over this coming half term when several people are out of the office. I said I’d really rather not. Which was apparently the Wrong Thing to say. I then tried asking what their plans were for their time off, trying to be interested, but I must have sounded so nosey! Must try harder. I feel like I’m writing a school report on myself.

I would ask if anyone here had some good no-fail conversation topics to share, and I would be grateful to hear some, but I think a lot of it must be to do with timing, going with the flow and being so less darned self-conscious and worried all the time. I don’t know where to start on that! Maybe someone kind has some ideas on that? Thanks!

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