It’s always there to fill in the gaps when the conversation is not about major business deals, global strategies, and world peace – small talk. It is brief, inconsequential and seemingly unimportant but could possibly make or break your career, your relationship with your most important client or your boss. Small talk can quickly become a major stumbling block.

Even if the topics appear to be trivial, you should still pay attention and show interest. This kind of conversation can quickly become personal and thus also emotional. You wouldn’t be the first person not to land a big deal because you said something negative about the customer’s favorite team. Avoid political and religious subjects; stay superficial but still show interest. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not but at the same time don’t reveal everything about yourself. Keep your small talk small.