Do Talk to Strangers: How You Can Successfully Break the Ice

Taking the leap can lead to opportunities of a lifetime

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Businessman and businesswoman eating lunch outdoors, laughing, side view

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When it comes to networking, it’s often a rule of thumb to be strategic and ultimately start within your industry or circle. But some prime opportunities can come about by connecting with a total stranger.

You may not want to take that leap of approaching a stranger, with the fear that either you’ll be seen as some threatening weirdo or you’ll be met with a spray of Mace. But, Brazen Careerist gives key tips on why it’s important to consider the value of breaking the ice with a stranger and how you can successfully do so:

1. Be aware of the other person’s openness (or lack thereof). If someone has their headphones on as they hunch over their laptop, chances are they’re not open to a sudden chat-up. If, however, you catch someone’s glance and she gives you a friendly smile, she’s probably okay with being approached.

2. Use contextual topics for your introduction. Did the person in front of you just order your favorite sandwich from this café? Is the line for the plane you’re boarding taking longer than usual? People are more likely to strike up a conversation with a stranger if that stranger mentions something they’re both experiencing in the moment. It feels a lot less threatening than “Hi! My name is Tom!!! What’s your name?”


Read more at Brazen Careerist