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'Phrases & Questions to Start a Conversation ' from Your Talent@Work with Shawn Kent Hayashi

Phrases & Questions to Start a Conversation

Posted: Jan 18, 2011

Do your goals for 2011 include meeting new people or building stronger relationships? If so, you will want to engage in more Conversations for Connection. This week's Tip focuses on Phrases and Questions to Start a Conversation.

Here are some ways to get a Conversation for Connection started:

  •  I noticed in the newspaper this morning . . . (best if it is something positive that would not provoke a strong negative emotional reaction from others.)
  •  How did you meet our host or learn about this meeting?
  • (Ask in advance who will be attending - check out their Linkedin Profile to see what opportunities might bubble up to discuss for example ...) I noticed in your LinkedIn profile that we both know Sara Smith. How did you meet her?
  •  I understand you have extensive experience in _____ and I'd love to hear     about it.
  • What are some of the current trends you are seeing in your work? How are 
    you benefiting from those trends?
  • What caused you to come to this party / meeting/ conference/ company?
  •  I am doing research about how project managers approach challenges in
    their work and our host told me (or I noticed in your Linkedin profile) you 
    have extensive expertise in working with project managers. Would you be 
    willing to talk with me about this to share your experience? (Change the 
    details to fit your current project.) 

Other ways to create meaningful conversations include:

  • Share your own good news.
  • Share something you learned that is interesting or useful.
  • Tell a story that amused you.
  • Share a new product you recently tried and what happened.
  • Talk about a trend you have observed and ask if the other person has 
    noticed this too.

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