How to get down to business quickly when talking to people

Working in a web agency would get pretty boring without small talk, gossip and general banter throughout the day. Otherwise, you’d be a robot sitting in the same spot all day, looking at your monitors and processing information. You might feel like that from time to time, but real human interaction breaks it up and makes you feel human again.

It has to be recognised, however, that sometimes the IM chat bubble appearing over and over, the calls and the taps on the shoulder do get a bit too much, and stop you from actually working. There is a little technique I like to use which adds a laser focus to your communications, while remaining polite and encouraging constructive dialogue.

Get down to business quickly

When people approach you, don’t ask, “How are you?” but rather “What can I do for you?”. Similarly, if you are trying to focus and have been interrupted, simply tell people upfront, “Sorry, but I only have two minutes, so let’s get down to business… How can I help you?”

There are always going to be times where you do want to chat with people, but for the times when you don’t, these responses are polite, focused and clearly separate working from chatting.