1. Show genuine interest in the other person.
Almost everyone feels flattered if you seem interested in what is going on with them … in their job, in their day, in their family, etc.
2. Share something about yourself, especially anything that you may have in common.
It is good to establish any commonality. Look for ones that might fit and start a conversation about it. Some ideas may come to you because of the setting you are in. Others may take a bit of exploring. Exploring can be fun!
3. It is okay to talk about the weather.
Talking about simple subjects like the weather are great ice breakers. You can carry this forward with follow-up questions like “What is your favorite time of the year?” “What would you be doing today if anything were possible?”
4. Ask advice.
You don’t want to ask doctors medical advice or lawyers for legal advice .. or therapists for personal advice in social settings but it is good to ask for advice about things that you both might have in common like ”How did you decide what you wanted to do in your life?” or “What are your favorite travel spots?”
5. Have one or two topics that you know something about … current events, movies or television shows, the latest technology and, if it seems to interest your conversation partner, share a little of your thoughts and opinions.