You may be forced to engage in small talk any day of the week, but I’ve found that Monday small talk in the office is in a category of its own. You and your colleagues are back in the office, fresh off the heels of the weekend and it has just become customary (and of course, polite) to ask: So, how was your weekend?
Everyday we encounter situations where we are forced to initiate or engage in trivial conversation, it’s just a little harder to deal with first thing on a Monday morning. You wake up after a weekend of fun only to be greeted with work, responsibilities and the last thing you want to do is make Monday morning small talk with all your colleagues.
But, it’s basically unavoidable because you know as soon as you walk through the door, you’re going to be hit with kind remarks such as ‘Morning’ and ‘Did you have a good weekend’ or ‘Get up to much over the weekend’ and you obviously can’t explain to your boss that you spent all of Saturday evening playing beer pong in your mates living room and you still haven’t recovered properly. Therefore, you need a plan. But, don’t worry Office Monster has some tips that should help you through.
Small talk isn’t all bad and is pretty much impossible to avoid… When we step into an elevator or we attend a networking event, small talk is what prevents the awkward silence. Truth is though, many of us find the whole idea of small talk to be awkward, and try to avoid it if we can, especially on a Monday. Therefore, have some simple replies in mind so you’re ready and prepared if anyone asks you such as: ‘I had a lovely weekend thank you how was yours’ or ‘No I just had a quiet weekend…didn’t do much.’ And that way you don’t sound rude but you know what to say if anyone asks.
Remember to Smile
This can be a tricky one, because first thing on a Monday morning, the last thing you want to be doing is smiling at all your colleagues. However, it’s not their fault you’re still recovering from your mad weekend, or their fault you chose to work in an office full of people who want to know what you got up to at the weekend.
Therefore if you see anyone on your way to your desk or while you’re making your coffee, as much as you want to avoid eye contact, glare at them, and hope they leave you alone and try to smile.
Tell them you’ve got lots of work to crack on with
As much as i’m sure you’d love to sit and discuss your jam packed weekend of fun with Wendy the receptionist by the coffee machine first thing on Monday morning, you’ve also got ‘lots of work to crack on with…’ haven’t you.
This is a great excuse because you simply can’t argue with it. Nobody knows how jam packed or empty your schedule is. So if anyone even attempts to spend ages engaging in small talk, politely tell them you simple can’t spend more than 5 minutes away from your desk because you’ve got so much work to do you need to start ASAP.
Short but polite replies are always a winner
These are also a very successful tactic to use if you’re not feeling too chatty on a Monday morning. Because you almost stop the conversation in it’s tracks without sounding rude. Using replies such as: ‘I had a lovely weekend thank you, yeah weather wasn’t great was it (laugh) but that doesn’t stop us,’ and by saying things like this, there is not much more they can reply to that.
Act as if you’ve got somewhere to be
So once you’ve entered the working environment, walking really fast everywhere with a determined look on your face would be something to think about doing, because people will presume you have something really important to be getting on with and chances are, won’t engage in conversation with you… fingers crossed.