I’ve always had a tough time starting conversations. Not just that, but verbal communication in general for me has always been difficult. So whenever I see good conversation tips, I try to make a point to read them and put them into practice. Here are some good ones from Donal Miller’s blog post entitled “Want to Get to Know Somebody? Understand Their Story”.
A story is a character that wants something and overcomes conflict to get it. So next time you meet somebody, delve into their story, not their job or the weather they experience where they live. To find out a persons story, you have to find out what they want or have wanted in life, what conflict they endured in getting what they wanted, and what great moments of celebration they have experienced. Questions like this:
A CHARACTER THAT WANTS SOMETHING:
1. Why did you come to America?
2. What drives you?
3. What do you hope for for yourself and your family?
AND OVERCOMES CONFLICT:
1. That couldn’t have been an easy transition to America. What was the most shocking thing you endured?
2. Was that a lonely journey?
3. Did you ever think it wasn’t going to happen for you?
TO GET IT:
1. When did you realize you were happier than the average man?
2. If there could be a moment in the future when you’ll realize that you made it, what would that moment look like?
3. When the credits roll, what do you think is most important in life?
If you ask these questions, I promise, you will be entertained for the next hour. Not only will you hear stories, but you will watch as a person truly reflects on their life, and you’ll learn a great deal about what most people find important. You’ll be amazed that most people don’t really care about money or prestige, they care about love, about weddings and funerals, about children, about dignity and integrity.