{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Do you have small talks with your manager and directs? Feel like an as*hole for not liking it. My boss likes to start our 1 on 1s with topics around family, trip plans, hobbies, and other small talks. I don’t care how his weekend was. Or his baby. And personally I don’t like sharing much about my family or personal life so the small talks thing is very annoying to me. He’s super nice and I like him a lot but I just don’t feel like we should try hard to get to know each other via small talks.", "post_id": "61a5921c91f8ea002eaad848", "reply_count": 23, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "55375ce690f5eebe1d2a0f88", "bowl_name": "Tech" }

Do you have small talks with your manager and directs? Feel like an as*hole for not liking it. My boss likes to start our 1 on 1s with topics around family, trip plans, hobbies, and other small talks. I don’t care how his weekend was. Or his baby. And personally I don’t like sharing much about my family or personal life so the small talks thing is very annoying to me. He’s super nice and I like him a lot but I just don’t feel like we should try hard to get to know each other via small talks.

likefunny
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People promote, give raises, and generally give better projects to people they like. Keep that in mind

likesmart

Exactly this. That’s the whole point of small talk. He’s just trying to like you enough to give you a raise/promotion. And people like people who ask questions and are curious about them. But I understand it’s a lot of work. One thing that has helped me navigate this is realizing that everyone on this planet knows or masters something you don’t. As much as I hate small talk, I like to ask questions I’m genuinely interested in, as a learning experience. Even if it’s a bit awkward. I straight up asked my manager what was a flaw he was actively working on. Not small talk, but an interesting conversation! There are great books on conversation starters that don’t suck. Good luck!

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This is called office politics 101. Learn to play the game. It is not about how talented u are, or how good at your job at the end of the day. Being a team player that people are comfortable with is 60% of progressing in this world. You manager is trying to build a trust relationship with you. I think he is a good manager.

likesmart

This. 100%

Echoing Deloitte 1. You can have subpar technical skills, but if you at least try and not sound dumb, BUT be friendly and well-liked by everyone ESPECIALLY your manager, that’s how you climb the ladder/earn praises. Fake it til you make it. As an introvert, I feel you. My manager basically knows I live the boring life so I don’t say much. I just let her talk since she has more interesting stories.

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I struggle with this too. I am really private and some stuff with my family is complicated. Sharing doesn’t come easily to me.

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I'd rather have a manager who is friendly and personable and takes an interest in me than someone who is standoffish or aloof. I've worked for both types, and believe me, the small talk is the lesser of two evils.

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Don’t get me wrong - I do enjoy socializing and grabbing coffee with people but I just don’t feel comfortable sharing personal life with others that I barely know or having small talks only to forcibly try to get to know each other better. I don’t want to feel like I have to act interested in knowing how they spent their thanksgiving - i really just don’t care lol

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Maybe not, but you should care how your boos sees you. An employee who is overly reserved/uninterested in forming bonds with those they work with is less likely to see promotion.

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I can relate. At least he isn't a jerk though.

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You don't have to share a lot of your personal life, just enough to make your boss feel like he's making a connection. It's worth it in the long run.

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I usually don't mind small talks since it's boring to talk about work all the time. But my manager at my old company went way overboard — he's from the UK and for some reason thinks that everyone loves the UK accent so every day he'd spend at least 10-15 mins telling UK accent jokes and celebrities that I don't care about. And since he's the director, everyone would kinda just laugh along -_- There was literally a lunch hangout where I didn't speak a single word and they would go on for 2 hours about celebrities. I quit at the end.

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if I'm being truly honest...I HATE it. I hate the small talk, the forced convo etc...but I also play the game. I try not to overshare but contribute enough so that people get to know me a little/like me etc. I'm not saying you gotta be best buds with everyone you work with, but it does make a difference when the team likes you

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Once you get through the small talk, you get to the real talk. He’s trying to treat you like a human being. Maybe mention to him that you’d rather just be a machine if that’s your preference.

Couple of good points already mentioned. You don’t need to talk about same stuff though. Pick something you don’t feel very private and still enjoy talking about. Once somebody told me to cut the BS chit chat and move on to actual topics. Just don’t be a jerk.

Why are you working in a corporate role? Maybe think about becoming a monk?

Well a really skilled communicator should pick up on the vibes of the other party and notice that they are reserved about personal information and channel the conversation accordingly. It is possible to small talk without roping personal information in :) current affairs, the Beatles get back project 😂😂… it’s important to tune to the vibe of the other party to keep the conversation engaging.

I talk to my direct reports 1:1 every two weeks without fail, ask only about their projects but am open to personal stuff if they want to talk about that. And otherwise I leave them alone to do their work as much as possible.

It sounds like an inexperienced manager. 1:1 are for the employee not the boss. Depending on the employee's small talk direction it's can evolve into a open conversation. If you have the ability to give anon feedback you could state something like, "it feels like the 1:1's are for management validation rather than helping to clear roadblocks." That may help. For the now though, maybe be proactive with questions related to what you want/need to talk about so that it will short-circuit your manager's need to fill the air.

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