Recently I have been asked, "How do you stop small talk?" Well, the answer is quite simple – you don’t. This is a cultural point, which is a bit different in Germany.
The ability or inability to do small talk can make or break your career in the United States. The extreme is a treatable disease called "social anxiety disorder" (SAD). There are many specific problems that people in the United States with SAD face in the workplace, including the
inability to network effectively
fear of attending business social events
problems developing relationships with co-workers
lack of self-confidence and
difficulty speaking up in meetings
Unfortunately, people with SAD will tend to be overlooked professionally because their symptoms may be interpreted as a lack of motivation or interest.
In the United States, if you don’t speak up in meetings, your supervisor may incorrectly assume that you don’t have any good ideas to share.
Especially if you are in a circle of new business contacts or just waiting at the elevator, make sure you say "hello" or smile. This is the best way to start small talk, be effective and accepted by the others.