Hr Library

Here’s the No. 1 way to sound smarter when making small talk, say Harvard and Wharton researchers

By | Joanne Lipman

Making small talk with someone you’ve just met can be terrifying. Common sense tells us we need to convince the other person that we’re smart, so we casually drop our job title, education and accomplishments.

But it turns out that’s exactly the wrong approach

While writing my new book, “NEXT! The Power of Reinvention in Life and Work,” I interviewed scores of people who pivoted in their careers, all of whom had to develop new contacts to make their move. Then I spoke to social psychologists about how to make those connections most effectively. 

I found that the answer is a lot simpler than you think: ask for advice.

Seeking advice actually makes you look smarter

In a series of studies, Harvard and Wharton researchers asked students to solve brain teasers with a partner.

Some were told they would be judged solely on the accuracy of their answers. Others were told they would be judged according to how good of an impression they made on their partner.

The students were given three options for communicating with their partner:

Click here to read the full article

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button