Thursday, May 1, 2014

Conversation Serves

Conversations can at times be like the game of tennis –with one exception, the goal is to keep the volley going. A good first serve can be the key to success. Remember you aren't trying for an ace - you want the ball to come back.

What first question will create a sustainable long volley?

The goal of the first question is to find an interesting topic or theme that “keeps the ball in play”.  

Here are some characteristics of a good “first serve”:

(1) Open ended questions – Try to ask questions that DO NOT require one word (Yes/No) or one sentence answers. Start the question with “Tell me …; “Explain …; “How do you….; Why do you .....;
(2) Ask about the person – Usually everyone likes to talk about themselves
(3) Follow-on clarification – Pick a subject that has natural follow-on questions
(4) Keep to non controversial subjects

So here are some sample first serves:
Tell me what a typical day for you is.
Could you give me advice on how to ….
What do you like about your job?
If you could live anywhere where would you choose?
What do you do to stay so fit?
Why do you like …….?

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