If you read yesterdays post you know that I addressed the questions we are asking within the framework of age, and how we should be weary of the laziness of it. I’m going to take it a step further and help you create more meaningful interactions. Something about those questions needs to change. Slight variation in the questions can lead the answerer down a wonderful path that actually deepen your connection to them by getting them to think.
Small tweaks to expected questions allow us to build relationship. Instead of blanket questions,
“Where are you going?”
“What are you doing?”
“Where have you been?”
Make the question more thoughtful. Here are some examples:
“Are you going where you wanted to go?”
“Are you where you thought you would be?”
“Have you been where you wanted to go?”
“What cool project are you currently working on?”
“What has been stressing you out lately?”
“What is something you’re really excited about right now?”
Generic questions get generic answers. Everyone in an age group gets generic questions, it’s how we survive awkward, forced interactions with one another. Be thoughtful. Get people uncomfortable. Have a set of questions for new introductions that are unique, that you always go to. It will be awkward for a second, but you’ll get an answer worth listening to. Don’t bother asking a question if you aren’t interested in genuinely listening to the answer. The best way to improve the answer is to improve the question.