Good relationships are cultivated. They don’t just happen on their own. And if you make new business contacts – whether that’s at a conference, a networking event, or on the subway – don’t wait until you run into them by accident again. You need to follow up.
For some, meeting new people seems to come very naturally. But for most of us, it can be a bit awkward, or intimidating, to walk into a room full of strangers and try to strike up a conversation. Knowing that it’s important to network doesn’t make it easy. And with the return to some sort of normalcy in many countries, there’s even more pressure to beef up our social skills. So where to start?
In this Business English Skills 360 lesson, we’ll look at five ways to boost your confidence and make socializing in English more comfortable:
1. Change your mindset
2. Ask questions
3. Find common areas of interest
4. Make it easy to participate in the conversation
5. Be genuine
Our world has been undergoing massive changes. And it’s not just the global pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the economy. There’s political turmoil, rapidly evolving technology, climate change, and calls for greater social justice. Our work and workplaces look and feel different because of this. There’s less travel, increased automation, more remote work, and moves toward greater equity and inclusion.
Nobody’s untouched by these changes. But not everybody is equally adept at dealing with them. Now, more than ever, we need to learn to accept, if not embrace, volatility, uncertainty and ambiguity. If you’re waiting for the world to go back to the way it was in 2019, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.
You might have heard that “change is the only constant,” meaning nothing ever stays the same. That’s easy to say, but not always easy to deal with. Many of us like certainty and stability. We get comfortable and we want to stay that way. But being comfortable shouldn’t mean being complacent, especially in today’s world.
Change doesn’t always happen at the same pace. These days, change seems so fast. And the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new uncertainties and has accelerated certain trends, like the move toward remote work. Many industries have been battered. And the fact that people are tired of the word “pivot” only demonstrates how the pace of change has accelerated.
Welcome back to Business English Skills 360 for today’s lesson for the final part of our series on English interview skills.
In previous lessons, we’ve gone over some of the fundamental questions about who you are and what you’ve done. Today I want to take a closer look at talking about your career goals and researching prospective employers. Interviewers don’t just want to know whether you’ve got the skills, personality, and qualifications. They also want to know that you’re a good fit, and that they are a good fit for you.
One important question you need to be ready for in an interview in English is “why are you leaving your current position?” This question makes a lot of people squirm. But it’s actually an opportunity to talk about growth and change. Nobody stays at the same job their entire life. And this question isn’t necessarily fishing for problems in your past.