Eight Questions to Ask Someone Other Than “What Do You Do?”

by David Burkus

We’ve all been in the awkward situation of meeting someone new and having to build rapport quickly—at networking events, industry conferences, charity events, dinner parties, and other social-professional situations. If you’re like many people—especially most Americans—you break the awkward silence with a pretty standard question: “So, what do you do?”

But that question might not be the best way to build rapport with someone else. In fact, it may be best to avoid talking about work entirely.

Research findings from the world of network science and psychology suggest that we tend to prefer and seek out relationships where there is more than one context for connecting ...

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