Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Questions to ask

Two lists of questions are included in this post. The first is a list of biographical questions when pulling out family history or conducting an interview for historical purposes. The second list is a series of questions to ask when networking with others.


Many times we meet individuals, but don't know what to say. Whether you are talking to your children about their day at school, to a friend or relative after a long absence, or new acquaintances, asking a question can get a conversation started.

Big Talk

In the video below, Kalina Silverman discusses her experiencing in skipping small talk and connecting with others at a more meaningful level.

Biographical Questions

The questions below are from notes I found in one of my old planners (2009). In an effort to bring new content to my blog, I've been reviewing notes from my journals. For this particular list, I did not include a source or the context for use. However, it would be easy to incorporate almost any of these into a conversation.

  1. Where were you born?
  2. How would you describe your childhood?
  3. What favorite childhood memories do you have?
  4. What significant/traumatic events occurred in your childhood?
  5. What was your favorite music as a teen?
  6. What did you study in college?
  7. What career goals did you have?
  8. Any adventures as a young adult?
  9. How did you meet your romantic partner?
  10. What are your favorite qualities about your romantic partner?
  11. What are your hobbies and interests?
  12. Any regrets/unfulfilled dreams/desires?
  13. What are your future goals?

Networking Questions

This list, also from my notes, is from Bob Burg,  speaker and author on business communications. These questions are best suited for meeting fellow business professionals, either at formal network events or casual meet-ups.

  1. How did you get your start in ____?
  2. What do you enjoy most about your profession?
  3. What separates you and your company from the competition?
  4. What advice would you give someone just starting in your business?
  5. What one thing would you do with your business if you knew you could not fail?
  6. What significant changes have you seen take place in your profession through the years?
  7. What do you see as the coming trends in your business?
  8. Describe the strangest or funniest incident you've experienced in your business.
  9. What ways have you found to be the most effective for promoting your business?
  10. What one sentence would you like people to use in describing the way you do business?
  11. How can I know if someone I'm speaking to is a good prospect for you?

Use Questions Judiciously

Obviously, if you just pepper individuals with questions as though they are in an interview, you may not have a very productive conversation. If you incorporate a few thoughtful questions, you can make an impression as being a good conversationalist. Ask a thought-provoking question and listen as others respond.

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