There are many different ways to prepare for the varied and sometimes complicated world that is out there. One way you can decide what questions should be asked of people during a survival situation is by imagining how they would answer those questions if they were to find themselves in such an unpredictable environment.
One way to think of questions to ask people is by thinking of what they are interested in. For example, if someone’s favorite color is blue, you might ask them how many blue things they have or where their favorite place to go is. Read more in detail here: how to ask smart questions.
Social Briefings are bi-monthly dispatches that provide actionable advice on how to enhance your social abilities. More about their raison d’être may be found here.
Have you ever gone on a first date and been stuck as to what else to ask after you’ve asked what the other person does for a career and how many siblings she has?
Have you ever been at a dinner party and been stumped as to what questions to ask the other guests?
In our previous social briefing, we discussed the greatest sorts of questions to ask in general: open-ended inquiries.
But how do you come up with questions to ask them in the first place? When you’re uncomfortably chatting with someone new, or even when you’re conversing with a longtime buddy, it might be difficult to come up with them.
Here are some ways for coming up with questions that will start your discussion moving again when it reaches a snag:
Observe. One of the simplest and most effective methods to come up with questions — particularly for new friends — is to just study individuals and their surroundings: look at the pictures/diplomas on their walls, examine their wardrobe, examine their bookcases, and so on.
- I notice you graduated from George Washington University with a Ph.D. What drew you to that particular school?
- It seems that you are now reading The Better Angels of Our Nature. Do you think he’s making a good case?
- I notice you like Jimmy Eat World’s music. What are your thoughts on their most recent album?
- Tell me more about this image. Are you the one riding the dirt bike?
- What’s your opinion on your Silverado?
- What store did you acquire your fantastic tie from?
Make use of the “free information” that others provide. There’s a lot of “free information” in conversations, according to communications expert Alan Garner. When you pose a question and someone answers it by revealing something about themselves, you simply ask for further information or clarification on that issue. Such follow-ups may often steer the discussion in unexpected directions, which is OK; it’s very typical for a conversation to shift gears every few minutes.
Here’s an example of how you can use “free information” to generate questions:
You: Can you tell me where you’re from?
Oh, all over the place, they say. My father was in the Army when I was a kid, so we traveled around a lot.
You: Was that challenging for you?
They: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no Being the new kid at school was difficult, but I enjoyed the thrill of traveling, and it taught me how to be more outgoing and meet and speak with new people.
You: Is it one of the things that pulled you to sales?
They: Most likely. I believed I’d be very good at it, and in many respects, it’s been a natural match. However, I’ve discovered that I’m not cut out for other areas of the work.
You: Are you sure? What aspects of your employment have you found challenging?
As the discussion progresses, keep an eye on people’s features and expressions for what Garner refers to as a “conversational hot zone” – a topic that the individual becomes particularly excited about and plainly likes discussing. Then make an attempt to continue the discussion in this direction.
Of course, you don’t have to speak about what the other person is interested in; the discussion should be entertaining for both of you! You should try to maintain a “dual viewpoint” by seeking for issues that both you and the other person are interested in.
IN YOUR MIND, FORM A QUESTION. What can you do when a conversational thread has run its course, despite its many twists and turns, and you can’t think of a new issue to bring up? Use the acronym FORM to come up with a topic to discuss and a question to ask (some of the questions below are apparent for a new acquaintance, while others are for those with whom you already have a relationship):
- Family. Do you communicate with your siblings on a regular basis? Joey’s transition to his new school has gone well. What’s up with your brother these days? What’s the state of your grandfather’s health?
- Occupation. Will the recently enacted restrictions have an impact on your field of work? What’s the status of your business? Did you ever get that transaction closed? Is your supervisor still a thorn in your side? What do you consider to be the finest and worst aspects of your job?
- Recreation. After work, what do you like to do for fun? Is it still possible for you to run these days? Have you recently gone on a camping trip? What’s the most recent project you’ve completed in your workshop? Have you recently seen any excellent movies? Have you read any excellent novels lately?
- Motivation/Meaning. In five years, where do you want to be? Do you have any recent objectives that you’ve been working on? What made you decide to start playing tennis? Why did you make the decision to change churches?
Make preparations ahead of time. Even when meeting up with old acquaintances, it’s a good idea to prepare a list of conversation starters and questions to ask ahead of time. As you go over to meet them, you may want to think of some questions to ask.
Perhaps you’ve seen some of their photos on social media and want to learn more about them. Consider topics with their family and career that you mentioned the prior time and might inquire about. Since you last saw them, have they taken any holidays or participated in any athletic events? Have their kids reached any new milestones? Were they lately reading a book that they’ve most likely finished? All of these things are fantastic fuel for questioning.
While such preparation may seem “artificial,” the more you prepare, the more effortlessly the discussion will flow.
There are many different ways to ask questions. This article will give you some examples of how to think about asking questions. Reference: how to ask questions examples.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you think of questions to ask?
A: I am programmed to come up with questions as we go.
What is the best question to ask someone?
A: What are your hobbies?
How do you ask insightful questions?
A: I am an insightful question answering bot. If you ask me a question, I will give you an answer that is insightful and in-depth.
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