We have ALL been there. You get into an elevator and inside is a stranger who you may say "hi" to, or not at all, and then quickly avoid eye contact. Now-a-days it’s easier to look down at our phones, or avoid conversations with people. Being in a small, moving room with people you don’t know can be awkward. But we dare to say that if we continue to avoid connecting with other people in real life it’s only going to get more awkward.
But we have good news! Today is National Talk in an Elevator Day! It is a national holiday observed the last Friday in July. Today is the day we break out of our comfort zones and strike up a conversation with someone in the elevator! Here are some great icebreakers to get the ball rolling!
- Start with an easy one! “ How’s your day going today? Are you doing anything fun?” This is a stand by for so many baristas. And you know why? Cause it’s easy to ask, and it’s easy for people to talk about themselves. Now they can either be responsive or quick, that’s ok, if they don’t want to talk don’t take it personal. They might just have a lot on their minds. But maybe, just maybe you’ll strike up a great conversation and show another human being that you care.
- Bring up a current event! This one is tricky. Don’t get political. You don’t want to start an argument in an elevator. But if something is going on locally or in the world it could be a great opener.
- Give a nice compliment. Examples are “That is such a pretty shirt, it makes your eyes pop with color.” “I love that hat you are wearing, where did you get it man?” “Thank you so much for holding the elevator door for me, I didn’t think I was going to make it.”
- Tell a good clean joke. You really do want to avoid offending strangers that you meet in elevators, so it should be a joke that anyone might be able to enjoy. It can be a groaner, knee slapper such as this one we have personally come to love. Question: Where does the General keep his Armies? Punchline: In his sleevies! Don’t forget the power of a good knock knock joke either!
- If all else fails, just talk about the weather! YEP! The weather. Everyone can relate to it, and it really affects people. Is it nice out? Have they been out enjoying it? Has it been soooo cold or hot lately? How are they staying warm or cool? It’s a go to for a reason.
Elevator trips are certainly pretty short. If you are striking up a conversation it most likely won’t last very long. Just long enough to connect with a real life human instead of a screen or avoiding them. You never know who needs someone to reach out to them. It could be the highlight of their day. You, yourself might need that conversation more than you know. So today, spread that kindness, and break that ice in the elevator.