Relationships are the key to success of any venture – especially in a team setting. Developing the trust, respect and confidence necessary for effective relationships takes time – but we can accelerate the process through conversation. Conversation is the medium through which relationships start and grow.
Here are twenty-one conversation-worthy questions arranged from “easy” to “edgy”.
The “root question” – start here every time:
- Tell me about yourself.
Talk about life away from work – interests and family:
- Who are the folks who are most important to you?
- What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?
- What’s your favorite book (movie, tv show, etc.) of all time? What’s the last book (movie, tv show, etc.) you’ve read?
Talk about career – its safe and easy:
- What were you doing before your came to work here? How is this place different from that place?
- What was the best job you’ve ever had? What did you enjoy about it?
- Who was the best boss you ever had? What made them so good?
Talk about work – but without complaining:
- What’s going well lately? What’s something you’re feeling proud or happy about?
- What’s the best part of your job? What makes the hassles worth it?
- What’s something people need to know about what it’s like to do your job?
Talk about goals and improvement:
- What’s a goal you’re working towards – something you’re getting better at?
- What’s an accomplishment you’re proud of? (Most people will talk about ‘family’ – that’s great… but encourage them to share something about themselves.)
- Who are your role models? Who do you admire? What do you admire about them?
Interesting questions – after folks are warmed up a bit:
- What’s your ‘superpower’ – the thing you do best? What’s your kryptonite – the thing that makes you crazy or ineffective?
- Who is your oldest friend? If I asked them what they admire or appreciate about you, what would they say?
- If you could change or improve one thing about yourself, what would it be? Why?
- What’s been your biggest failure? How has it affected you?
Off-the-wall questions – when you want people to open up:
- Tell me a story about a time you “got away with something”.
- Tell me about your first kiss (your first crush, your first girl- or boy-friend).
- If I gave you a million dollars to spend a) on yourself, b) by the end of the day what will you do?
The “destination question” – finish here every time.
- What’s something I can do to help / support you?
Interested in learning more? Ready to start conversations and build relationship? We’re ready to help.
About the author: Andy Erickson is a founder and principal consultant at Humanus Solutions, a consulting firm specializing in people-centric leadership. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org