How good are you at the 'small talk'?
By that I mean going into a conversation with the intention of actually hearing and listening to what the other person says. Small Talk is laden with curiosity engulfed questions rather than unconscious questions e.g. "how are you?" or "what did you do on the weekend?" Fail!
Small Talk needs to be mastered if you desire to get to know another persons' motives & drive.
We were discussing this in a recent leadership workshop and a great question was offered by a fellow facilitator : What's keeping you busy at the moment?*
Don't you love it? It's asking so many sub questions: what are you doing, what are you struggling or juggling with, what's keeping you awake at night, what's exciting in your life and so on.
A response to this question permits you to further explore other 'busy' moments in their life by simply asking "what else?"
The BIG talk is specific talk - asking direct questions about activities you know people are involved in. Rather than delving into the specifics, build that relationship with some small talk!
*The question was derived from a FastCompany Article