I want to know everything.
Everything you care about. The meat, not the surface. I have grown to dislike small talk. Something unuseful by design, an introduction without substance.
When you write an introduction to your book, a lead for your article, or record an introduction to your podcast, you (should) do it after the fact. After you make it, you can nitpick the substance or create suspense.
But what if we cared?
Oftentimes with small talk, it’s empty. Lack of interest and lack of substance. But what if we cared? What if we care about the people to start a conversation and maybe build a relationship? It surely doesn’t happen when we move on to business.
The ultimate conversation starter
“Tell me about yourself.”
A substitute for the small talk we dread. You know, the one about weather and traffic and busyness and how time flies by.
It’s great because it’s compassionate and non-judgmental. It doesn’t preconceive notions about the other person and leaves them free to form the story about themselves.
Maybe what she does for a living is not what she deems important. Maybe she’s not ready to tell you about her weekend. Maybe she wants a permission for your genuine attention.
And it costs nothing to try it out.