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  • Kali Spera Sasa.

  • Hi, Sam.

  • So a small Ted talk about small talk.

  • Um, the other day after work in Oslo where I live I got on my bike off to work.

  • I bicycle through the rain I got up to this hospital.

  • I went inside the doors, I went up the stairs and I stopped outside a door inside of this door Waas My grandmother, she's like 103.

  • Yeah, And the thing is, these days were kind of losing her.

  • Now, this is not the most dramatic of deaths.

  • She's been senile for many years.

  • It's time for her to go, you know, But I am standing outside a door.

  • On inside this door is my father, who's 80 and two of his siblings.

  • They're like 75 76 and I'm entering this room and I want to be someone for these people.

  • I'm without a very interesting place because, you know, I'm gonna open this door and I'm gonna try to somehow means something to the people that I love and care for who are in there.

  • And of course, this is a big moment in all of our lives.

  • Now, my instincts are telling me how to communicate.

  • Would your instincts be telling you how to communicate?

  • Yeah.

  • So my instant, my, of course, at the bottom of me is this idea of like, Oh, my God.

  • My dear father, you're 80 years old.

  • You've had your mom your whole life.

  • How is this gonna be for you?

  • What would it be like if I walked in and kind of started like that, huh?

  • Would be kind of a disaster.

  • So the idea is in the biggest moments of our lives, why do we tend to turn to the smallest of communication forms?

  • This is why I wanted to talk to you for a short while here today about how I find small talk to actually maybe be a more important part of our lives than we sometimes think of.

  • I don't know if it's like that down here, but where I come from in Norway, people tend to not just dislike small talk.

  • But I mean, like, really hate small talk.

  • It feels like sometimes when I speak to people that I work with communication for a living.

  • It feels like when people get to the topical, small talk, there's like, there's fire coming out of people's ears.

  • You know, there's It's like the plastic of the ocean of communication in a way.

  • And yes, what we are longing for is the big conversation, and I will give that up straightaway.

  • Definitely big talk.

  • Deep took.

  • Every researcher will tell you it makes us more gratified.

  • It makes us happier, but And this is the interest of interesting thing.

  • Small talk actually makes with us happier than we think.

  • Even with strangers.

  • Now I know I'm in Greece.

  • There's a lot of small talk, right?

  • Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

  • You know, it got me thinking, even in the old days.

  • I mean, around 2500 years ago, you know, at the Acropolis.

  • No, I'm thinking big talk, right?

  • There was a lot of big talk.

  • There must have been smoked.

  • Some small talk to I don't know.

  • Did they have tzatziki back back then?

  • Did they chit chat about, you know?

  • Anyway, So moving on back from Greece and back to where we were the idea of small talk, they actually monitored even small talk with strangers.

  • There was this research study.

  • I don't know if you heard about it.

  • in Chicago on, they researched commuters who were going back and forth to work on.

  • They asked them on beforehand.

  • You know, So you're about to get on the train.

  • You're about to sit there alone for a while on the idea is, would you rather strike up a conversation with a stranger, or would you prefer not to?

  • What do you think?

  • Most people answered not to write so super scary to talk to strangers and everything.

  • So this is the interesting thing about this research.

  • Then they actually monitored the different reactions and the different levels of, I guess, dopamine and serotonin after the passengers actually had struck up a conversation with a stranger on the train.

  • And guess what?

  • People were reportedly happier.

  • And of course we are.

  • What we once you've done that little bit of like needing any with a stranger, right, you actually go away.

  • If it's the right kind of connection, you go away feeling something you feel somehow warmer at heart or, ah, I guess, more relaxed or something.

  • Don't you agree?

  • Yeah.

  • So this is the idea.

  • We tend to think we don't like small talk, but small talk has a lot of effects on us, and it actually creates stuff that we might not be so aware of.

  • And this is why I thought, Why not give it a whole Ted talk and talk about the value of this form of conversation that we tend to kind of this regard, not think about, not dwell on or even not get good at now?

  • It's possible also to get good at it.

  • I will try and teach you how today this is why I bought this.

  • I looked like a schoolteacher right now.

  • And the idea, of course, is that it can be taught on the techniques are there.

  • But let me go there straight away.

  • Did you ever feel exposed to a communication technique?

  • I've had this up in many times in my life.

  • These air, the sales people in our lives, right?

  • Sorry if there's anyone selling out there, the people who are on the phone at least in the old days It used to be Yes.

  • Good afternoon, madam.

  • Could I speak to the person in the house is deals with whatever it was right and you feel exposed to a communication tech Nique.

  • Now I do communication skills for a living on the first thing I need to tell you, if you're using a technique, for God's sake, hide it right.

  • I need to feel like I'm exposed to connection to a really conversation.

  • So this leads me to the point that communications it can be taught.

  • I would also argue I can predict very, very few things about our futures, but I can predict one thing.

  • If we communicate well, our futures will go better.

  • Is it right?

  • Bottom lining?

  • Which means we can learn communication.

  • We just gotta hide it if we're trying out to technique.

  • And if you actually attempt at showing up was a good version of yourself in whatever Shawn.

  • Groove communication, urine, lo and behold, reason to believe you come out the other end and you will have achieved the stuff that you want to achieve, whether it's the job interview, whether it's the difficult conversation with a friend that you've fallen out with, whether it's ah, if you're working in some capacity with even sales, one of the biggest things you actually need to learn, according to the researchers, is small talk.

  • We all know this, don't we?

  • The kind of social blew that a good little chit chat stands for before you go into important conversation.

  • So in my life, working also very many times, one on one with people and coaching them in communication.

  • Of course, one of the things have come across is the idea that if a conversation gets really deep or intimate or filled with emotion, a lot of us as people we shy away from those conversations.

  • They feel they feel scary.

  • We don't want to go into them, even with people we know and love, you know, you feel that moment where you're like, Oh my God, my emotions are here on your like it becomes weird.

  • It becomes awkward.

  • I think we could talk at length about why you've become so awkward and weird for us.

  • But this is where it took me far too long to realize in my coaching career.

  • Oh my God.

  • So this was me in the beginning before I got this point.

  • So I'm at a moment with my personal coaching and I'm realizing, Oh my God, we're entering too deep, difficult territory on Here's me as a coach and oh, that's interesting.

  • Tell me more right What is it?

  • What happens to my coach?

  • E?

  • Of course the president's going.

  • Oh my God, she's going weird.

  • It's getting weird.

  • The moment I realized Oh my God, I've got to take care of the situation.

  • I've got to make sure that the other person feels it's not too awkward.

  • How can I do that?

  • You guessed it already hears me now small talking.

  • Even if I sends the conversation is going to deep going to, we're going to to, ah, vulnerable place.

  • I might snap out of it for a second.

  • I might go back to whatever they were having for dinner yesterday or something else surrounding the situation that isn't so deep.

  • And then we kind of stay there and go a little bit.

  • And then we go back in, right?

  • So understanding the use of that, I guess if I'm right in my theories, I've never actually asked the client.

  • I could, of course, our Oscar.

  • But in the meantime, the client is probably feeling, I guess, in a way, held by me in a better way simply because I'm managing and monitoring where our conversations go.

  • Between the big talk, um, the small talk So that's one way of doing it.

  • Another story I thought I might share with you.

  • This is a true story from real life.

  • It's about 10 years ago on Guy.

  • I have a friend I've seriously fallen out with.

  • I haven't seen her.

  • You talk about communication Coaching, right?

  • I should be better at this stuff.

  • I should know how to handle this woman.

  • I didn't.

  • Things have gotten really weird.

  • We haven't seen each other for about a year.

  • We had friends in common who were kind of struggling.

  • You know what friends do when people fall out with each other.

  • So they were kind of like trying not to take sides and be diplomats and be friends with us both.

  • But it was a really horrible I felt really hurt by this woman anyway, yes.

  • What happens walking down the street, who do I bump into?

  • So right, How does my heart feel at this moment in time is going?

  • I'm like, slow motion.

  • Oh, my God.

  • It's her.

  • Now what thing is at this particular day in my life, I've actually been to a sports store.

  • I'm not very sporty, but like Norwegians go, I like a bit of cross country skiing.

  • So, in my hands, what do I have?

  • I meet this woman.

  • I'm super nervous, and I'm carrying a set of skis that I've just fetched from the shop.

  • Do you know where I'm going with this?

  • So where do we end up talking about right?

  • Staying.

  • I should have filmed this conversation.

  • We have, like the most weird I'm prickly kind of super superficial conversation.

  • I'm also scheme.

  • Yes, It's snowing now, isn't it?

  • Oh, yes.

  • Won't that be nice?

  • Oh, how long do you ski when you do ski, do you ski?

  • But somewhere inside, this was the ice that melted.

  • And this was the time when we became able to kind of go underneath.

  • It'll underneath that informal bunter, there was, like two women standing opposite each other going, Hey, I'm okay.

  • You're okay.

  • It's gonna be okay.

  • And we were on our way to peace.

  • So it got me thinking, You know what?

  • If we could make, like, people who are enemies these big wars going on on the globe, What if we could make them sit down and just not talk about the big stuff?

  • What if we could force them to just chitchat about skiing, right?

  • The idea of, Ah, I think small talk, also as a peacemaker should not be underestimated on again.

  • If I'm teaching you something about communication today, get aware.

  • Like, how can you actually look at difficult situations in your life?

  • Un.

  • Approached them by going.

  • What's type of communication is needed here, and sometimes the analysis should be the question of whether it's deep or whether it's shallow, whether it's big or whether it's small.

  • Another place I really see people using, ah, small talk, definitely healthcare personnel, like the wonderful woman who stood here before me or before last, people who are healthcare people, you know?

  • Did you ever get into a really, really difficult Ah, something operation or something that you were gonna have done at a hospital?

  • Unusual kind of super scared.

  • Yeah.

  • And what is the nurse doing?

  • She or he has been trained, I promise you.

  • And they're going.

  • So did you find a parking space?

  • Right?

  • We're doing the chit chat again.

  • I think I don't know how that I don't have the measurements for this, but I do firmly believe that small talk is a calmer, it calms down.

  • So small talking is not only about the content, is it?

  • It's It very in very many ways, is not about the content.

  • It's about this underlying current of like, Hey, everything's nice.

  • It's gonna be okay.

  • Things are not that difficult Things not that dangerous.

  • I'm okay.

  • You're okay.

  • Another place where, Of course, I spend a lot of my time is in the corporate world and any person who works with negotiations or with convincing other people or even, well, sales with definitely tell you Yeah, what do they do?

  • They kind of some really, really good sales people.

  • I've met an interview.

  • They will tell me it's all about the small talk.

  • And if you turn up for a very, very important sales meeting or ah, unimportant, you know, if you're kind of there going Oh, I had the most wonderful weekend.

  • I went swimming.

  • It's the best thing I know on the other person.

  • Across the table goes, Oh, I hate swimming.

  • Shall we start?

  • You know where you are, right?

  • You know more about what the communication is gonna be like and what it's not gonna be like.

  • So with this little dance that we do.

  • This little thing, this little, uh, innocent, not so meaningful thing that we do with each other before important conversations take place, actually does something to them.

  • What?

  • Very many sales people, for instance, will tell me if they're selling something.

  • If they're selling a product.

  • I don't know if any of you sell for a living when you get to the idea of actually the money.

  • I don't know if you've had a meeting like this.

  • Meetings can be super nice.

  • And then suddenly it's, like in And then it's the money.

  • And then all of a sudden, the atmosphere, it completely changes.

  • And it's not so nice anymore.

  • These very good sales people that I spoke to, they all said that if there had been small talk in the beginning, then the negotiations went better.

  • Is like social glue, social currency.

  • Somehow this isn't it.

  • Okay, so enough examples the idea of where were you?

  • Small talk on dhe.

  • How were you?

  • Small talk.

  • What I hear here in Greece is that you're really fond of small talking with people.

  • You know, you're not so good at doing it with strangers.

  • So shall we talk a little bit about doing it with strangers, you have no choice.

  • I'm about to talk about what it's like to do it with strangers, because that's the worst, isn't it?

  • And that's when the technique things comes in because we kind of all know what it's like on we all know what we should be doing.

  • So here's my kind of rule Number one.

  • I don't know if you can all see this.