It has come to my attention recently that some of you may not know you are boring. As a public service, I have developed a watch list to alert you. Upon engaging a co-worker in conversation, watch for these signals:
- Lack of eye contact – If I am not looking at you, it is a strong indicator I no longer want to you to exist in my personal space.
- Attempts to complete work tasks – I hate typing things into this spreadsheet, but I would rather do that than complete this conversation.
If you do happen to notice signals that you are indeed boring, do not panic. You might be able to improve your conversational skill by considering that:
- No one cares how smart you think you are. Prefacing the diatribe about the National Geographic special you saw last night with your distain for network television is not going to improve your discussion.
- No one cares care how important you think you are. Telling everyone how many National Geographic experts you are in contact with via email does absolutely nothing to make you interesting.
Often, the problem lies in your delivery rather than the content of your conversation. I consulted a panel of experts to develop some pointers (and by panel of experts, I mean my Twitter feed):
@haircuter urges you to look to your home and family life for warning signals. For example, if the only being willing to converse with you is your house cat, you could indeed be boring. Also, you should probably avoid spending inordinate amounts of time starting at potted plants. It makes them uncomfortable.
@Ellie159 advises you to avoid loud discussions regarding cruise ships outside any office window. It can be annoying, and also, no one is impressed with your cruise ship. Go talk about it somewhere else.
@SidMILB suggests the use of hand puppets, which I have to agree, can add depth to any number of topics.
@Debihen brought up an excellent point that Johnny Depp reading a phone book would never be boring. I tend to agree. While the content does seem rather dry, he is not using the conversation as an excuse to try to impress us with how smart, or important he thinks he is. However, the fact that we may already perceive him as smart and/or important, could be a little distracting. I am attempting to get Johnny Depp into my office to read a phone book, but he has thus far been unresponsive. Some people have no sense of scientific curiosity.
In the unlikely event that you found none of these suggestions helpful, there is one last resort: drinking. Drinking tends to make other people seem more interesting. Providing your co-workers with alcoholic beverages throughout the day could potentially increase your standing in the office and well as make you temporarily interesting. Some business establishments frown on employees drinking during office hours, particularly before noon. Therefore, you will need to choose your beverages carefully. Drinks that are socially acceptable for morning consumption include mimosas, screwdrivers, bloody marys, and whiskey in coffee.