While "Hello Gorgeous" would be a nice way to start a conversation, it might not work in every situation. Instead of small talk about the weather or weekend plans, I love the unexpected question.
Recently, I overheard the best conversation starter asked by a big cheese from a nearby college. For real, this guy converses for a living and makes small talk all day every day. Regardless, I noticed this one question took things to the next level of engagement.
He asked,"What's your story?"
So simple, yet he asked it with complete joy, curiosity, and realness. It radiated a jubilant mood of, "I'm so interested to learn more about you and can't wait for you to tell me your story!" I think most of us would love to be asked this question. What a delight to have someone take the time to look us deeply in the eye and ask, "what's your story?"
In truth, I'm not sure how to answer it. It's definitely a response that could go many different ways. It could be the where I'm from story, my growing up story, my family story, my right now story, and many many more options. But I think the asker knows that in advance. It's an invitation to share what we want and how we want - with richness and fullness that reveals a person's heart.
Ultimately, this is not a surface question. It invites us to get real deep, real quick. Or as deep as we want. And if we want to talk about the weather or where we work, we have a choice. The point is we can make it as interesting as we want.
What About You? How Can You Invite More Authentic Conversations?
My invitation is to consider your ordinary conversations as a chance for people to share more of their stories. Not just to have fun chats about celebrities or the weather, but to look for connection opportunities that allow a person's heart to shine.
When we take time to ask people to share their story,
we have the opportunity to get right to where the good stuff is.