I love asking anyone I meet this question : what are you working on these days?
To me it doesn’t matter what someone is working on , it’s just a lens through which I look at people and it helps me avoid small talks and actually talk about real things that anyone cares about deeply.
If someone says I’m working on buying a house this year, I know what to talk about next time I see her.
If he says I’m starting a scaffolding business, I know what to say next time I meet him.
It’s a simple but a deep question because it gives you a sense of who the person next to you is about.
Instead of asking how are you and moving on to the next person just to say hi and keep on moving on, how about we ask deep and real question like:
What do you wish to accomplish today? What gets you up in the morning and keeps you going all day? What are you working on these days? Describe a movie scene you love and why ? If you could be any movie character, who would you be and why? Tell me your story?
And when you ask, all you have to do is sit down and listen. Don’t interrupt just listen. This is the key.
The key is not in the questions, the key is in listening. Shut up and just listen to what the other person is saying.