When networking with people at business meetings, conferences, association meetings or conventions, learn to ask more interesting open-ended questions to get the conversation going.
Rather than the standard “what do you do for a living?”, why not ask a more creative, open-ended question to prompt a more meaningful discussion, and to enrich the human exchange? It all starts with the quality of the question that you ask.
By leading with a more compelling question, you will learn more about the other person in a shorter amount of time. You also stand to find more common interests and deeper connections than you would if you only share your job descriptions. And, you will create a closer connection more rapidly with the other person. You might even learn something new about yourself!
Try asking one of these questions…
Here are a few open-ended questions that you might ask someone you are networking with. These questions can also be used during a speed networking exercise or a formal ice breaker at a workshop or multiple day event to help re-energize the participants.
- Name one activity on your “bucket list” that you’d like to do in the next year or two.
- What career ambition have you not yet fulfilled? Why is this important to you?
- Who has been most influential in your career/work life? How did they help you?
- What was the most meaningful bit of career advice ever given to you? Who gave it? How has it helped you?
- If you could be anywhere else in the world right now, where would you be and doing what
- What was the first paying job you ever held and how did it help prepare you for the work world?
- What is the most amazing thing someone other than family has ever done for you?
- If you could make some change in this world, little or big, what would it be and why?
- What is the most philanthropic thing you have you done in your life? How did it make you feel?
- What is one thing that you hope to accomplish this year? Why is that important to you?
- What do you consider to be a good vacation? Tell me about the most memorable vacation you ever took and why it left such an impression on you?
Download this free workbook that contains a list of 40 open ended questions that you can experiment with in networking situations. These questions also work well to create energy in off site meetings and conferences.
Click below to download the free workbook: