Timeless interview and conversation tips from Terry Gross

One of the great interviewers of our era shares foolproof ways to elicit more substantive responses, spark spicier discussions and establish better connections in the workplace.

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Do you struggle with workplace conversations or employee communications? Does mundane, everyday chatter make you anxious or nervous?

You could do worse than heed some advice from Terry Gross, the iconic radio host famous for her “remarkable blend of empathy and warmth, genuine curiosity and sharp intelligence.”

The New York Times recently published an interview with Ms. Gross, who’s hosted NPR’s “Fresh Air” since Gerald Ford was in office (1975, to be exact). She shared eight of her top tips for having better conversations, including these:

The best icebreaker is, “Tell me about yourself.” This disarming phrase immediately sets people at ease and puts the banter ball into their court. It’s also an artful way to dodge the dreaded “What do you do for work?” question.

In addition to some nice wine, perhaps, bring plenty of “Tell me about yourself” to that upcoming dinner party.

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