We’ve all been to networking events where the convo wasn’t exactly flowing. Most of these fast-forgotten chin-wags leave us as flat as the cheap Prosecco.
Granted, we can’t get deep with everyone we meet. But if you’d like to steer a conversation into more meaningful territory, try this.
Ask people about their challenges.
So says Robin Dreeke, former head of the FBI’s Behavioural Analysis Program, who has studied interpersonal relations for more than 27 years. Everyone’s got challenges. We can learn a lot about someone by asking them what they’re grappling with.
So instead of ‘How ‘bout these vol-au-vents?’ try this:
You lead a team? That’s great! What are your biggest leadership challenges?
You mentioned your teenagers. What are you biggest challenges raising teens?
You run your own business? What are your biggest challenges with that?
Use sparingly, obviously…
From here the conversation can go all kinds of deeper – and more interesting – places.