We all know those awkward moments:
It’s the holiday season and all of a sudden you find yourself meeting and needing to make conversation with someone you’ve not had any contact with for a long time.
It can be a daunting situation at best, and can be even embarrassing.
Let me share one of the greatest tools I teach and train my students for counselling and coaching and my clients who have communication challenges at work to use:
It's called Open-Ended questions.
These questions can lead to an open conversation and give you information which you can then use as a jumping board to the next thing to talk about.
Here are some great examples which can be useful at this time of year:
“In what way was this year good for you?”
“What was the greatest moment of this year for you?”
“What was the worse one?”
“If you could change one thing about the passing year, what would that have been?”
“What would you say is the biggest different in you since we last met?”
“Tell me about a time when you felt very proud this year”
“What would you like to ask me and you might not dare?” (but be careful with that one, especially if you’re both already had a bit to drink… LOL)
This is of course focusing on the last passing year but you can ask the same questions about any subject.
Here are some examples:
“What are you most proud about your family this year?”
“Tell me how did you all spend the summer?”
“What’s your biggest achievement this year?”
“In what way your job satisfied you? Why?”
“Describe the ideal day at work”
In general, open-ended questions begin with words like “How,”, “What” “In what way”, “Tell me …”, “Describe…”
There are more strategies to use before, with and after using open-ended questions, which can really help you cope with those long hours of “togetherness”.
You can get the full guide I prepared for you: “Strategies to use when meeting people you’ve not seen in a while” here.
And happy communication.