I have written about small talk before: Are you smart enough to read this post? Why small talk is important.
Here’s an HBR article on why you need to have small talk as an agenda item in your zoom meetings in a post-covid world.
And as a bonus, here’s some improv games you could play to warm people up if they don’t want to chat.
Here are some things to say when you don’t know what to say.
This podcast on the Dying Art of Conversation suggests that any type of conversation is good, except for advice-giving. (although i have recently read it’s good to give advice if you then go and follow it yourself).
But if you don’t like small talk, consider asking deeper questions – it makes a difference!