Q: What do you do?
A: <Answers Will Vary>
The above question is often a boring ‘opening’ or conversation killer during an initial introduction. It merely elicits a title (e.g. a banker, a doctor, a project manager, a teacher). Of course, your professional life is hard to sum up in a word or two and no one really cares about all the minor tasks you actually do all day. Besides, your job is only a very small part of who you really are. A better way to get to know someone is to learn all the things they don’t do….
Here are some better questions to ask people:
- What do you do for fun?
- What are your hobbies, past times, or passions?
- Have you read any good books lately?
- Any upcoming travel plans?
- What is one thing on your bucket list?
- Who would you like to meet?
- What is your biggest goal for this year and how can I help?
- If you could live anywhere, where would that be?
These questions get people talking about interesting topics with enthusiasm as it relates close to their true essence. Next time you meet a stranger at a party, cocktail party, or networking event, do your best not to merely swap titles and get to know the other person in a deeper, meaningful, personal way.