small talkI went to the Applications for Psychological Type International Dallas chapter meeting this week, and am so happy to report that the chapter enjoys healthy membership with vibrant participants from various industries and walks of life. Is it time you joined your local chapter? Here's just one of the benefits: APTi Chapter members get to enjoy expert presentations at the meetings. This time, it was Pam Venné's turn. Pam Venné is a proven management style coach, licensed professional counselor (LPC) and career transition consultant who provides HR advice and guidance to organizations during times of significant transition and change.  She explained how different types approach small talk.

Small talk is conversation for its own sake. During these critical economic times, the ability in engage in and manage Small Talk is vital to career survival. We talked about what the most common mistakes we make in listening to and communicating with someone else are, and how to recognize and correct them. For example, did you know that your feet are pointing to where you want to go? What this means in practical terms is, when entering a networking event or party, it is helpful to note the body language of persons who are already in conversation. Don't try to introduce yourself to a couple who is talking to each other when they are squarely facing each other. They are a closed group in that moment and might not welcome interruption. Instead, look for couples or groups of people whose upper bodies are somewhat more open and turned to the room. In most cases, waiting for eye-contact before you make your move can also facilitate inclusion and introductions.

Interactive situations and actual hand-shake practices allowed us to see and feel how people with different type preferences experience us. Did you know that you should wear your name-tag on the shoulder of the arm you shake hands with? It allows your conversation partner to follow a straight line from shaking your hand up to your face and take in your name in the process. Both introverts and extraverts should practice shaking hands without looking down and instead keeping the gaze on the other person's face. Also make sure your handshake is neither to weak nor too forceful, I suggest practicing it with someone of your confidence if you're feeling insecure before going to an event.

Another benefit is that chapter meetings are an opportunity to get helpful peer coaching on type workshops and raising questions or discussions that might have come up with clients. I'm glad to know I have that supportive network in my corner. Do you have a similar opportunity in your profession? If not, why not start one?

Til next week, have a good one!