Fun Conversation Starters in the Corporate Environment | VP Legacies

Fun Conversation Starters in the Corporate Environment

Fun Conversation Starters in the Corporate Environment

Fun Conversation Starters in the Corporate Environment 1600 1066 VP Legacies

Have you just started a new job, or gotten a position in a new department? Maybe you’re just trying to liven things up at meetings or get friendlier with people at work?

Humans are social creatures by nature, and we need to communicate. Being friendly with coworkers helps make the days go by faster and helps to foster a healthier and happier work environment.

That said, not all conversation topics are appropriate for the workspace, and you don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable on your quest for workplace friendship. People issues are a cause of workplace stress, and it’s best to not contribute.

If you’re looking for fun conversation starters in the corporate environment, look no further. Here are some workplace and networking friendly conversation starters to liven up days in the office and help you build Personal Connection® in no time.

The Personal Connection Crisis in 2020

People are feeling more disconnected than ever in 2020. Between social media taking over the majority of our social interactions and much of our time being split between work and family, some people feel isolated like never before. This feeling has been made even more apparent thanks to the social distancing people are implementing thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, people are not just emotionally distant, but physically distant, making the feeling even more real. People are starting to feel like posting coronavirus memes are not enough to feel connected to their friends and family anymore. 

Many millennials report being lonely in 2020 when Personal Connection® should be easier to find than ever.

Fostering healthy communication with your coworkers can help to fix this problem in at least a small way.

Related: What Is the Personal Connection Crisis?

Why Great Conversations are Key

It’s easy to feel awkward with coworkers, especially if you’re new in the workplace. Many people go into the job knowing that they’re there to serve a purpose and leave. It makes forging connections seem less important.

Beginning great conversations with fun conversation starters helps to fix these bonds that we’re so prone to resist based on our workplace situation. Small talk is okay to start off with, but actual conversations that bloom around personal interests and genuine questions make people feel heard and important.

A good conversation can be exciting and can make the workplace a much happier environment. Happier workers tend to make more productive workers. 

What to Talk About

When you’re used to either talking with friends or leading with small talk, it can be tough to actually come up with new topics for conversations. Here are some ideas to help get you started.

Company Successes

Two employees sit on a sofa bond over company successes  Especially when talking to higher-ups in the company, it can be great to talk about things that the company has done well. This could also put you in a good position in the eyes of your bosses.

If you notice a coworker on your same team doing something great for the company, it’s definitely good to compliment that as well. Everyone loves compliments, and they make people feel good. They also help you build teamwork and make your work even more enjoyable.

  • That was a great presentation today!
  • I heard how you handled that customer call! That seemed stressful, but good work!

Transform Shop Talk into Learning Discussions

If something that someone else is doing is really fascinating to you, even if it isn’t your department, asking about it at an appropriate time is a great conversation starter! Are you interested in learning a new skill, or sharing it with others? This might be the time to share that information.

  • Have you ever tried (video/photo/document editing program)? I think it would be great for the office!
  • You seem really quick at (office skill), how did you learn that?
  • Your position looks really fun! Can you tell me about it?

People like to learn and share information. This could be a good way to get people to open up to you.

Related: Top Tips for Having a Tough Conversation with Your Boss

Get to Know Your Colleagues

Things like pop culture and entertainment tend to be safe and popular, as well as any holiday or weekend plans. This is a great time to find common interests with coworkers to build Personal Connection®.

  • Have you streamed any good shows or movies lately?
  • Did you go anywhere fun over the four-day weekend last week?
  • Have you heard any cool local bands?
  • Do you have any fun hobbies? I like to _____.

While some people get very excitable about their entertainment or food choices, these are all safe (and still fun) bets for workplace conversation without getting too personal with people.

Aim to Inspire

Uplifting coworkers through conversation will make them more likely to want to talk to you. Being an inspirational figure in the workplace will make you indispensable. Encouraging people with a positive attitude and enthusiastic mindset is a great way to foster a healthy and engaging work conversation.

When To Talk About It

Three employees hold lattes to talk during a coffee break While work time is for work, there are a few options for when you can talk to your coworkers freely. You can have brief conversations with coworkers in and around the office. If you start to feel a Personal Connection® with someone, you can take it outside of the office, too. The best time might be during a break, after work, or even over the weekend.

  • Coffee Breaks: A great time for one-on-one conversations
  • Lunch Breaks: A time for small group chats
  • After-work Dinner: A time to engage with everyone more in-depth

Conversational Strategies

So maybe you know what to talk about, but how do you do it? Here are a few great strategies to help get conversations running smoothly.

Lead With an Open-Ended Question

If your question can be answered with a “yes” or “no”, it’s probably not going to go very far unless your target is naturally quite chatty.

Instead, focus on open-ended questions for a fun conversation starter. Try not to make it too in-depth, especially if you’re just meeting someone. Consider the following for kickoff points:

  • What project have you been working on?
  • What’s your favorite part of the job?
  • How did you get into this field?

These questions are all work-oriented, but they’re open enough that you can really get someone talking. You might also learn a bit about your position, especially if you’re new!

Use Nonverbal Cues

Two women in an office smile at each other as an example of nonverbal cues Sometimes people speak more with their eyes or bodies than their words. Pay attention to subtle movements. Are they looking away from you while talking or closing themselves off? Maybe this conversation is best left for a different time. Are they appearing relaxed? Continue to engage!

Use Their Name

People feel endeared to you when you remember their names. It can be difficult but made easier through repetition. After learning, repeat it a few times just to be sure:

  • Hey (name), great work on that report!
  • (Name), can I ask you about this document?

This will help your memory and help others feel more comfortable.

Do You Know Any More Fun Conversation Starters?

Starting a conversation in the workplace can be awkward. 

These questions can open up into broader conversations about work or hobbies, and even show you common interests between yourself and your coworkers. With a positive mindset, great listening skills, and specificity, you’ll be able to start meaningful conversations that feel engaged. Finding the right time to talk is also key.

For more tips on connection, take our Personal Connection® 101 Course! We have fun conversation starters and tips for any situation. We talk about ways to build connection in even more depth during our Office Hours, too.

Related: What to Include In an Internal Communication Plan