Sometimes, a simple hello can go a long way. You never know who might be sitting next to you or just across from your laptop. Maybe it’s the web developer your company has been desperately looking for, or perhaps it’s a potential business partner. Maybe it’s someone you’ll be able to call a friend for years to come. The possibilities are endless and often exciting.
The benefits of talking to a stranger
If you want to start expanding the size of your network, then a co-working space is the perfect place to begin. In such working environments, you will find all kinds of unique profiles including talented graphic designers, efficient programmers, creative copywriters and many other kinds of skillful individuals.
To some, starting a conversation with a stranger may be an everyday matter. For others, it represents a social issue that would require them to leave their comfort zone; something that may limit them from experiencing new adventures and connecting with new people. However, it’s important to keep in mind that while it may feel uncomfortable, leaving your comfort zone isn’t always as bad as it seems, and it frequently comes with lots of valuable lessons.
One of which is challenging yourself in doing things you previously thought you weren’t capable of. The thrill that you experience after exiting your most trusted environment is exciting and often priceless. It will also enable you to eliminate your fears and make more room for you to develop as a person. It doesn’t necessarily always have to be business-related either. Simply getting to know a person by asking what they like doing in their free time is a great conversation starter.
Working alone in a closed environment for prolonged periods of time can make you feel lonely, especially if you have just moved to a city where you don’t speak the language. That’s why co-working spaces, where people from all walks of life can meet up and finish their daily tasks in each other’s presence, can be a great way to fill your time during work and those much-needed breaks.
Furthermore, working in an international environment can play a crucial role in helping you deepen your understanding of others’ cultures, whilst allowing you to offer a bit more insight on your background and what you are like as an individual. Sometimes, the simplest conversation about any given topic can make you forget about work and relieve your stress, even if it’s just for a short period of time.
How to start a conversation
Starting a conversation with someone should be easy, granted the other party is willing and interested. The simplest topics can help you get on your way to a pleasant conversation. A quick introduction of yourself can ignite the fire that may pave the way for a future friendship, partnership or more. There’s no reason to be nervous at all. People who work at co-working spaces are often open-minded and are there for the same reason as you are.
A conversation can be held anywhere at any given time. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the kitchen, the hallway or your own office space. There’s always time and room for a simple “Hello, how are you doing today?”
Tips for making better conversations
Here’s a short list of tips that will help you improve your engagement with others:
It’s always a good thing to be on top of what’s going on in our world. Watching the news or reading the newspaper are great ways of finding interesting topics to share your opinion and to hear what others have to say.
Being a talker can be fun, but there’s certainly no harm in being a good listener as well. You will benefit more of what others have to stay instead of repeating things you already know.
One of the most important rules in life is to never judge a book by its cover. You’ll probably scare people off if you seem too judgmental. Get to know them first before making any rash decisions!
Whether it’s for seeking new business opportunities or simply wanting to make a new friend, being able to start a conversation with potentially anyone is a great skill to have. If you’re uncomfortable in social situations with strangers, start practicing and train yourself on engaging with people you see in your daily life. There’s no harm in being nice!
Did you know that OneCoWork is opening up a new space in Gotic? Learn more about the space here, and check out our Instagram page for our ‘A month of Gotic’ campaign in preparation for the opening on April 15th.
Dean Leite is a Graphic Designer and Digital Marketing Intern at OneCoWork from Belgium.