Awkwardness on an Elevator: Don’t Just Bob Your Head to Elevator Music

Via Sojourner Marable Grimmett
on Oct 15, 2010
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The next time you’re on an elevator when the door closes and it’s just you and another person, or several people, I dare you to say something. Elevator rides can be the most awkward and uncomfortable environments on the planet, and the music doesn’t help the silence. You’re in a small confined space where seconds feel like hours, and you can’t wait for the doors to open to inhale what you believe to be fresh air. Instead of fixating on the awkwardness, do something about it.  Take time to tell someone you like their shirt, glasses, or shoes. I’m a believer that opportunities and partnerships can be developed on elevator rides. These partnerships can lead to networking opportunities. You never know who will be in the elevator with you, and it could change your life for the better.  The next time you’re taking the elevator up to the 15th floor in silence, break the ice and say something kind to brighten someone’s day, and possibly further advance your career.


About Sojourner Marable Grimmett

Sojourner Marable Grimmett has a BA in communications from Clark Atlanta University and an MA in media studies from Pennsylvania State University. She is a stay-at-work mom and her experience in higher education spans over 10 years working in student services and enrollment management. Sojourner previously worked at CNN, Georgia Public Television, and as an AmeriCorp member at Harvard University’s Martin Luther King Jr. after-school program. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Roland and two young sons, Roland Jay and Joshua. Visit her blog and follow her on twitter.


4 Responses to “Awkwardness on an Elevator: Don’t Just Bob Your Head to Elevator Music”

  1. Maria says:

    Sure, but I'd rather take the opportunity to learn be comfortable with the situation than make small talk.

  2. Rob Glass says:

    This is an especially good technique to incorporate at conference hotels. Typically your connected to everyone you meet in the public gathering spaces (including elevators). Fun to find out what (or who) you have in common. Share a comment or a question.

  3. Sojourner Marable says:

    Thanks Rob!

  4. Heather Kabala says:

    I do this all the time and it's always an interesting experiment. I enjoy watching how people respond to this unexpected expereince. Some people are obviously uncomfortable but most people respond and are glad that someone "broke the ice". I figure, either way, I made those 2 minutes a bit more interesting or memorable.