[eff around] Q&A when we have to talk to humans
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June 30, 2023
I wrote this issue a week ago: One of my readers replied with a compliment/insult 😂, followed by a question that I totally resonated with. I love that this reader is aware that putting too much stock in something that can be taken away (a title) is dangerous to one’s identity. But to answer their question: “When you meet new people, is one of your first questions what they do for work? I found myself cringing the other day when that was all I could of to get a conversation going.” A few things: I hate that question, too. Why? I’m introverted , and don’t enjoy talking about myself too much (which is why social media and my writing have been beautiful outlets for me). And I’m into a ton of things . I have no problem asking what people do for work, but I dread the “What about you?” bounce-back. I have to try and throw my restaurant ownership, advisory, investing, franchise development, content creating activities into something digestible. It’s never fun. I have two mindsets going into conversations. Be interestED instead of interestING. And Go deep three times. I have a bonus strategy, too. Let’s get into it. be interestED instead of being interestING. I believe people love talking about themselves. And they’re also nervous about talking, too. I also believe that entering with curiosity will take care of the conversation. Curiosity means: You’re genuinely interested in learning more about the person , without bias or assumption. And You’re aware of what they’re wearing, what they’re listening to or reading, and commenting on them. People tend to love that you notice details that make them who they are, or what they spent a lot of time saving up for, or choosing to wear. “What book are you reading?” “I noticed your headphones. What do you listen to?” “Thanks for sharing what you do for work. What is something about you that I can’t tell by looking at you?” “I don’t know a lot of people, here. How did you find out about this place/event?” Don’t worry about being impressive. If you feel like you succeeded, most likely the other person will think you’re self-centered AF. go deep three times. This is on a similar vein of being “interested versus interesting”; but deserves its own section. What I mean by this is that, after a question/answer exchange, play the interviewer and ask to elaborate. The suckiest conversations dance on the surface; the memorable, meaningful ones dig down a bit. “What book are you reading?” What does it talk about? How did you find out about that book? What’s a book that you absolutely love, and go back to often? BONUS. Oh - you don’t read a lot? Are you more of a music/movie person? “I noticed your headphones. What do you listen to?” Is that your favorite type of music? Do you also listen to podcasts? Who is your favorite artist? “Thanks for sharing what you do for work. What is something about you that I can’t tell by looking at you?” Do you have any side hustles or gigs? What do you do during your free time? How did you get into that field? “I don’t know a lot of people, here. How did you find out about this place/event?” What city do you live in? Have you always lived here? Have you been to similar places/events like this? How were they, compared to this? I’ve found that digging into questions tends to work after the second question. The conversation takes a life of its own; and they go all sorts of places that I would’ve never expected. BONUS. offer first. What I’ve also noticed when talking with people is that they either don’t know how to respond, or are holding back. When this happens, I usually answer first, for them. For example: “Are you an avid book reader? I love love love personal development, and one of my favorite books has been ‘Who Moved My Cheese’. What about you?” “I’ve never been here, but my friend __________ invited me. How did you find out about this?” I’ve not only given them an answer, but I’ve given them a possible structure for them to respond with. I’ve given first and it wasn’t so bad, so people feel disarmed and reciprocate. Any questions that are on your mind about anything I’ve ever written? I wanna hear about it! Thanks for reading Eff Around & Find Out! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.