🥱 “How was your break?” 🥱
…and 3 Better Alternative Questions
It’s January 3, 2023 as I’m writing this. The first day back at work for many after a bit of a break.
The image below is a text message I just got from a good friend followed by my response. He is a teacher.
And while this is his specific experience, you don’t have to be a teacher to have this happen to you. We’ve all been on both sides of that interaction – the one asking the question we know we aren’t actually going to listen to the response for, and the one who starts to answer (“Oh, it was good, me and the fami…….”) trailing off when we register that the asker is already 15 feet down the hallway.
This year, try something different. Try something novel. Novelty is like conversational magic for the brain.
3 Questions Better Than “How Was Your Break?”
- What was a photo-worthy moment from your break?
- What was a highlight, lowlight, or insight from your break?
- What is something small but memorable that happened over break for you?
Disclaimer…I recognize that it isn’t practical (or wise) to use these questions as a replacement for a passing greeting. Quick “hellos” are just fine. It’s a part of life. Every interaction doesn’t need to be a deep relationship-building sit down.
Asking any one of these alternative questions IS a social risk. There is a chance it won’t work out. However…there is also a chance that you’ll win the conversational lottery. There is a chance you’ll make someone feel truly seen and heard. And that is worth the risk.
Typed with sincerity (at the airport on my way home from giving a keynote to those 300 hero-level educators I mentioned in the text message above who are helping to shape those who will shape the world),
PS – Got a question for me or a topic request for 2023? Reply to this email and let me know what you’d love to hear my two cents on this year!
PPS – In case it is useful, here is all the stuff that I shared last year in a searchable format: www.weand.me/blog