Sunday, February 06, 2011

Instead of "What do you do?", why not "How are you doing?"

This gem of wisdom was brought up at dinner the other night by one of my mentors and it's something that I've been thinking a lot about and also doing my best to put into practice:

When you meet someone new, one of the most common questions people ask is "What do you do?" It's an easy question and helpful in kicking off a conversation with someone you don't know much about. But why not try a different approach by instead asking, "How has life been for you lately?" or "What's new in your life."

I've been trying to do this more and more, and avoiding the question of one's occupation altogether for as long as possible. I find that as soon as I know what someone does, what company they work for, what their job title is, etc. I naturally start pre-judging everything else that they have to say. There is a filter that invariably obscures everything else that person has to say. By asking different questions I find it easier to learn more about what someone is really like. Plus it makes for more interesting conversation...

1 comment:

Matthew Cornell said...

Here's another that I've had great luck with: "What are you experimenting with these days"?