2 Core Rules for Good Conversations

Everyone has a story to tell, and you’ll ask better questions and establish better relationships if you obey these two rules.

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All it took was a question, 8 words, to get a man I never met to tell his life story to me before. At first, he was at a table thinking about a restaurant he owns with one of his good friends.

He then sat at my table five minutes later and told me about his profession, his many top-notch food shops, his near-fatal car crash that changed his life, and the restaurants he opened recently. He was well dressed and well spoken, while I wore jeans and a t-shirt. He didn’t know who I was. And I’m sure he’ll make him late for something important, talking to me.

Everybody may wonder why he told me such personal information, a stranger, although his story is fascinating. And how? And how? When did I find myself opened up in such a short time to a total stranger?

Not only did he come up and walk and talk to me. I personally questioned him and asked him a simple question to which I really wanted to know the reply. I asked him a simple question. And this one question prompted him to tell me things not understood by many people.

Now that might seem like a common question, and in many ways it is. “What are you going to the restaurant business?” Yet at that very moment, there is something about this issue that caused him to spill his weight and to start a significant relationship in the past few years.

I ask better questions here in two ways.

Answer the right question carefully.

I’m not the best listener in the world, I’m going to admit. I sometimes dose off and now and then, because I haven’t been listening, I have to ask someone to ask the same question again.

However, I am happy to suggest some words or phrases that can allow a deeper discussion. I’ll dig deeper into it if I hear someone thinking about something they’ve focused on for a long time, or something they really enjoy.

I’m going to say things like: “Tell me more about this,” or “how did you participate?” I’m going to find it very interesting and very easy to ask questions that encourage them to focus on their business life or path.

So hear words or phrases that can encourage you to dive deeper.

Make sure you have something in common.

There’s a difference between strange and curious. Nosy is when you ask questions that you do not have or come from nowhere. Ask a nosy question, and the person you speak to may be switched off.

For certain circumstances, I try to figure out why I’m for many ways like them. I tell personal tales to them. I tell them. For example, if they’re handling a lot of people or teams, I’m going to tell them how I did the same thing and how I handled the challenges or accomplishments. If I talk to them, it reduces their anxiety and makes them more confident opening up to me. So, the next time you try to develop a deeper relationship with somebody, to ask great questions, to listen very carefully to what they say and to build a mutual bond between you and them. Those are the foundation for better questions and deeper relations.

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