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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Break Room

9 Communication Strategies You Can Use to Keep the Peace at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving’s almost here, and on top of all the recipes and travel plans, there’s still the question of how to navigate time with your (maybe a little dysfunctional) family. Luckily, talking with loved ones isn’t much different from communicating with co-workers. The secret? You can take those same tactics you use in the office and repurpose them for your dining room table.

We rounded up nine of the best conversation strategies you normally use to keep things cool at the office. Have these ideas handy for dinner and it’ll all be smooth sailing.

  1. Truth is that the best communicators don’t have some kind of magic power when it comes to people skills. They just keep an open mind and a positive attitude.

  2. Now for conversation starters: Use any of these 48 foolproof questions to get the ball rolling—no awkwardness involved.

  3. Worried you’ll fall into the trap of talking in circles again? Here’s how to stop that like a pro.

  4. When someone (inevitably) brings up politics, just remember the golden rules. Asking questions and knowing when to step back will keep things from getting too heated.

  5. And if there are some serial interrupters at the table, don’t be afraid to do something to stop it from happening too much. In particular, you can try holding your ground or even addressing the situation head on.

  6. Looking for good ways to win an argument? Here’s what you need to know to come out on top, every time.

  7. On the other hand, if you want to avoid a fight entirely, try these methods for disagreeing without stirring up any drama.

  8. If you can be sensitive to some of the comments that might be made at the table, it’ll be useful to have a plan for standing up for yourself without it ending in tears.

  9. Finally, if you need help keeping up the conversation naturally, just use these 10 tactics to keep the chatter flowing.

Photo of Thanksgiving table courtesy of Frank van Delft/Getty Images.