Parched for Conversation at the Water Cooler?

Internship is finally here!

You have managed to beat your classmates to clinch this coveted internship. Your skills are on point and you fully understand your job scope. However, will you be able to stand the heat at the actual workplace, in particular the pantry where you will be judged for the type of coffee you drink, the design of your mug and of course, your conversational intelligence?

The things you say speak volume of your character. At the workplace, a tete-a-tete with your fellow coworker may very well break out into a yakfest amongst your colleagues if you are not wise about what comes out of your mouth.

As an intern in the employment industry, would you be able to hold a savvy conversation at the water cooler? Worry not! This article will bring to light the dos and don’ts when speaking to coworkers. Get reading and worry less. You’ll rock at internship!

Parched for Conversation at the Water Cooler?


Ask Questions

Remind yourself that the coworker who has joined you at the water cooler was once a newbie at the company too. For example, you could ask him how he had learnt to settle in the new environment and you may be surprised by his enthusiasm to share his resources and “secrets”. Keep your questions simple, direct and of course, work-related. Remember, never fish for gossips.

Give (Sincere) Compliments

Need an ice-breaker at the water cooler? One of the best ways is to compliment your coworker. If you like someone’s outfit, compliment him/her. You don’t have to try so hard to impress. Keep your compliments as sincere as possible.

Talk about Current Events

The pantry can be the perfect place to talk about what’s trending in your industry. You don’t have to read the dailies from cover to cover, however you should ensure that you have your facts right. Keep tabs on news update channels on your industry and you’ll have numerous topics to discuss with your colleagues.



Politics and Religion

To maintain savvy professional conversation with your coworkers, you should steer clear of sensitive topics such as religion and politics. In such conversations, things tend to get heated up and your colleagues may end up making inaccurate assumptions about you.

Talk about Quitting

Whether you already have a job elsewhere or not, you should not discuss your (impending) quitting  with your coworkers during your water cooler break. The person you assume to be a confidant might spread words in the office and if the news reaches your boss before he receives your resignation letter, it may affect your relationship with him. If you intend on quitting, follow the correct procedure.

Mention a Hangover

Can’t seem to stay away from the water cooler thanks to a pounding head from last night’s party? Keep it to yourself!  A hangover is not something you brag about in the office.  Remember you’re an intern! It’s not only unprofessional but could land you a poor recommendation

So, what can you do to up your ante of savvy conversing? One of the most effective ways is to be an active listener and learner. Learn more about your colleagues, be it at work or leisure (It’s great if you all share some common interests) and you will find yourself plenty to talk about at the pantry.

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