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Better Conversation-Starters

05 May

By: Colleen Weber


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Better Conversation-Starters

Sometimes our social interactions seem to happen by default, and we don’t get much out of them. Consider the stock greeting: “How are you?”

What information are you likely to get when you ask this tired question? Tired answers, like: “Busy,” “fine,” “okay,” or “good.”

And what did you learn from that? How did you improve your relationship with the other person as a result of this exchange?

Okay, but what’s better? A recent article in Forbes suggests that you ask an authentic question. It proposes five:

What was the best part of your day today? (Or: What are you most looking forward to today?)

What work is most exciting you this week? (Good for getting information about work activities that give your team members energy.)

What new ideas are giving you energy lately? (Helps you think about opportunities for innovation.)

What have you learned recently that inspired you? (A great way to acquire new information and ideas that might inspire YOU.)

What is one thing we could do right now to make this day better? (Typically, you’ll find opportunities to make small changes that can have a big impact.)