The key is knowing that in conducting small talk, we should be aware of the different styles at play and adapt to the person we’re talking with.
If we address someone with the wrong style, the window may close shut without nothing revealed. No connection is made.
One helpful technique I use is to try and envision myself as a mirror to the person with whom I’m speaking. What’s the cadence of their speech? How loudly do they talk? What’s their body language? By adjusting your behavior to mirror the person you are talking to, he’ll automatically feel more comfortable. This doesn’t mean, of course, that you should be disingenuous. Rather, it shows that you’re particularly sensitive to other people’s emotional temperaments. You’re just tweaking your style to ensure that the windows remain wide open.