When speaking with others, you want to keep the dialogue upbeat and positive. Try to focus primarily on business at first so you can set a professional tone. However, as you are getting to know someone, it is perfectly fine to start asking questions about their life outside of business. Topics can include hobbies, family, travel, TV, movies, etc. It is important to get to know others on a personal level so you can connect multiple ways.
When you start to veer off of business topics, you have to be careful about what you discuss. The two topics that should be avoided at all times are: politics and religion. Some people will bring these topics up. It is advised that you quickly move past this type of discussion and change the subject. People have very strong opinions about these topics. You could get in a heated discussion if you throw in your thoughts.
You can subtly change the subject by going back to another conversation point or finding another topic to talk about. The last thing you want to do is let each other see a different side of you because of your personal beliefs. As a result, the other person may feel differently about you so you could end your relationship.
It can be challenging to avoid these types of discussions during an election year. However, do your best to redirect the conversation. You will happy that you did.
One other topic that sometimes should be avoided is sports. If you are a fan of a team that the other person dislikes, then sometimes it can create some tension. However, this is less of an issue than compared to politics and religion.
Any other topics that you should avoid?