What do these situations have in common? Almost all of them involve people trying to talk with each other. But in these very moments where a conversation would enhance an encounter, we often fall s...
One way to get beyond small talk is to ask open-ended questions. Aim for questions that invite people to tell stories, rather than give bland, one-word answers.
Instead of . . .
“What’s your story?”
“What did you do today?”
“What’s the strangest thing about where you grew up?”
“What’s the most interesting thing that happened at work today?”
Small talk stalls out due to the mirror talk phenomenon.
James: It's a beautiful day!
John: Yes, it is a beautiful day!
Ron: How was your flight?
Carlos: My flight was good!
Beverly: It’s hot today.
Gino: Yeah, it sure is hot.
Riz: What’s up?
Go ahead, be bold. Upend the dinner table conversation! Turn small talk into big ideas at the next summer wedding reception you’re forced to attend! You never know which ideas will be worth spreadi...
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