Personal Development
60 great questions to ask to get to know someone

60 great questions to ask to get to know someone

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The Benefits of Strengthening Communication Skills

Humans are born to be social creatures, and improving your communication skills is invaluable to invigorating your social well-being. Asking questions demonstrates to others that you are attentively listening to them, which invariably makes them feel appreciated and understood. For some, inquiring can be a daunting task, particularly when conversing with someone new. This nervousness could be due to social anxiety, or it might be that you don't know what questions to ask in order to start a conversation. A recent study uncovered that people tend to have pessimistic expectations when meeting new people, such as assuming they will not want to chat or that they won't ask clever queries. Fortunately, developing a more optimistic outlook is achievable; by memorizing jokes or icebreakers, you can have more stimulating or unexpected exchanges.

Giving Personal Information to Get the Conversation Rolling

Sharing tidbits of yourself can help put the other person more at ease while sharing information, and personal experiences can be used as topics to steer the conversation away from yourself and learn more about them. Plain questions that are more everyday-based - such as 'What's your favorite comfort food?', 'What's your latest guilty pleasure?', and 'What exciting activities are you doing this weekend?' - can be terrific conversation starters. If things are going swimmingly, more intimate queries will help further the bond, these could range from 'What's your dream job?', 'Do you have any good first-day memories from a new job?', 'Do you have any pet peeves?'.

Interesting Questions For Icebreakers

When attending a gathering, doing icebreakers with a group of people, or making initial introductions to new relatives, interesting questions that reveal unique personality traits or experiences is an excellent way to become more relaxed with each other and to create a connection. Entertaining questions like 'What superpower would you choose?', 'If you could go camping with any fictional character, who would it be?', and 'What's the most embarrassing moment you've had at school?' can lighten up a dull atmosphere. If you're looking for a good opener to a group meeting, ask questions such as 'If you could sing with any musician, who would you choose?', 'Which family member would you choose to be stuck on a deserted island with?', and 'What side of the pineapple-on-pizza debate are you on?'.

Questions to Ask in the Workplace

When it comes to asking questions, it's vital to be aware of the context. Questions you'd pose to someone at a party aren't the same ones you'd ask a coworker or supervisor. Concentrate on topics that are more related to work to be on the safe side. Great questions for the workplace may include 'What is the most important lesson you've learned in your career?', 'What is the best career advice you've ever been given?', and 'What is the most meaningful aspect of your current job?'. Asking thought-provoking, workplace-oriented questions will not only promote productivity, it will also engage everyone in the discussion.


Inquiring is an integral part of socializing; it implies interest in others, curiosity, and a willingness to learn. Depending on the situation, questions can range from everyday topics, to private inquiries, to amusing queries, to workplace conversations.

Committing some jokes or icebreakers to memory will allow you to have more interactive or unanticipated conversations when needed. Additionally, conveying facts about yourself and utilizing anecdotal stories as conversation pivots will ease the other person's discomfort and foster camaraderie. Asking questions is a must for cultivating holistic relationships and seeing other perspectives, so remember to take into consideration the context and adjust your questions accordingly.

Questions to Ask Your Coworkers

Interacting with colleagues can be intimidating, however, inquiring deep questions can assist in building a better relationship with them, showcasing that you trust them enough to give away more vulnerable information, and cement your bond. Here are some examples:

  • What is your favorite part about your job?
  • What was your first job?
  • Do you have any additional careers?
  • Do you have a go-to cafe you work at?

The Power of Asking Questions

Asking questions can open the door to deeper, more meaningful conversations, helping build relationships and connections. But coming up with interesting topics to discuss can be challenging. Here are some tips on asking good questions and getting conversations started.

Questions to Help Connect with your Employer

It's important to connect with your employer, which starts with asking questions and learning more about their work values. Here are some conversation starters to get the ball rolling:

  • What personal values should be reflected within your work values?
  • Are there any upcoming projects you're excited about?
  • Are there any work traditions here you love?
  • How did you end up at [company]?
  • Did you study to become a [job role]?
  • How do you stay on top of all your work?

Questions to Get to Know Someone Better

Getting to know someone on a deeper level can be intimidating, but can lead to positive outcomes when questions focus on experiences and emotional topics. Here are some examples:

  • Do you ever feel lonely?
  • What's your biggest aspiration?
  • What's your biggest fear?
  • How do you define success?
  • What's the most meaningful relationship you've ever had?
  • Do you have any toxic traits?
  • What are some lessons you've learned from past relationships?
  • What's number one on your bucket list?
  • What's your biggest regret in life?
  • What would you like people to remember you for?

How to Get Good at Asking Questions

Building good questions skills can help make conversations more engaging and enjoyable. Here are a few tips:

  • Be curious - Asking questions can lead to gaining fresh perspectives and knowledge. Showing curiosity through follow up questions can make people feel more engaged and receptive to your conversation. Here are some examples of follow up questions:
  • What exactly do you mean when you say [idea]?
  • Why do you think [situation] upset you?
  • How did you learn about [concept]?
  • Can you give me an example?
  • Can you tell me more about that experience?
  • How did you arrive at that conclusion?
  • Avoid rapid-fire questions - A good conversation is about give and take. Ask a few questions until you find common ground, then let the conversation flow naturally. Take time to enjoy the silence and pause before asking more questions.
  • Practice active listening - Utilize body language, like eye contact and leaning in, to show you're listening. Try to retain five facts from the conversation and use them in follow up questions, to show that you were actively listening.
  • Work on your confidence - Build confidence by practicing positive self-talk, stop comparing yourself to others and prepare questions in advance of meetings or dates.

What to Avoid When Asking Questions

Asking good questions is important, but there are some questions that can stilt a conversation. Here are a few questions to avoid:

  • Avoid ‚ÄúYes‚Äù or ‚ÄúNo‚Äù questions - These questions don't allow people to add detailed answers and the conversation can quickly become stagnant.

Getting the Conversation Started

Starting conversations can be scary, but it's important to ask questions that challenge people to think and give more information. This can lead to interesting and engaging conversations. Here are some other tips to help get the conversation going:

  • Ask open-ended questions - Instead of questions that can be answered with a ‚Äúyes‚Äù or ‚Äúno‚Äù answer, ask open-ended questions that challenge people to open up more.
  • Pay attention to body language - Up to 93% of communication is unspoken, so it's important to pay attention to body language. Engage in the conversation with eye contact, leaning in and other signs to show that you're actively listening.
  • Be confident - Building confidence is key to having good conversations. Build confidence by practicing positive self-talk, stop comparing yourself to others and prepare questions in advance of meetings or dates.

Talking Politics and Religion with Strangers and Coworkers

Discussions on political and religious beliefs can be exquisite and stimulating. However, it is prudent to be aware of the potential repercussions that result from bringing up these topics with people you are not familiar with. Before you introduce any religious or political conversation, assess the environment and the participants to make sure they are comfortable with such discussions.

In order to develop more meaningful conversations, don't forget to share information about yourself. Do not cooperate in one-sided conversations that are only comprised of questions. When you reveal personal insight, a sense of openness and trust is nurtured, which allows more fruitful conversations to take place.

Improving Your Conversational Skills

Strengthening your conversational abilities entails deliberate practice. Fascinating questions are required to generate captivating conversations. Think of questions that are related to the current setting and participants in order to make the conversation more focused and rewarding.

When engaging in conversations, topics of relevance should also be presented. In professional settings, topics such as stay interviews, organizational effectiveness, active listening, one-on-one meetings, 360-degree reviews, managing up, groupthink, self-assessment and leadership can be discussed. These points of discussion are critical in many business talks and offer a great starting point.

Stay interviews are an essential part of employee retention strategies. The questions raised during a stay interview allow managers to identify a team member's level of commitment and job satisfaction. Numerous questions may be asked during stay interviews, so be sure to come up with ones that are pertinent to the particular conversation.

Organizational effectiveness is another interesting conversation starter in a professional environment. It is essentially the capability of achieving goals and objectives within an organization. Knowledge of the principles of organizational effectiveness aids managers in planning their tasks, leaders in leading their teams, and members of the organization in working harmoniously towards achieving collective success.

Active listening is another important talking point. Being able to actively listen involves being fully dedicated to the speaker and comprehending their point of view, taking into account their ideas in the conversation. By mastering active listening, you can better communicate and absorb more when you converse.

One-on-one meetings are a great way to have meaningful dialogues with team members or colleagues and make certain everyone feels heard. To make these meetings even more beneficial, one-on-one meeting agenda templates can be used to guarantee efficient and positive results from the meetings.

360-degree reviews are also important to bring up in professional conversations. 360-degree reviews are beneficial for strengthening trust and teamwork among teams, and eventually create more efficient teams. If you possess an understanding of the advantages of 360-degree reviews, you can have more interesting conversations about the role of team members in the workplace.

Managing up is another conversation topic that is essential in business talks. Although often overlooked in favor of managing down, it is just as important. Managing up involves comprehending the needs of those in positions of authority and meeting those requirements. Having an idea of managing up and why it is essential can make the conversations surrounding the roles of team members in a business more meaningful.

Groupthink is an issue that is often present among teams, and can inhibit creativity. It is a good topic to discuss with coworkers in order to understand the importance of encouraging independent thinking.

Understanding Groupthink and Self-Assessment

Groupthink is a phenomenon in which the members of a group eschew critical thinking for complete harmony and unanimity. It's important for teams to be aware of the signs and potential consequences of groupthink in order to foster creativity and collaboration.

Self-assessment can be an invaluable tool for improving the workplace. It can help both managers and employees develop their skills and advance their careers. Self-assessment examples can provide a great starting point for navigating the process.

The Role of Leadership

Leadership is key to the success of any organization. Leaders must have the tools and strategies to identify and seize opportunities and respond to a quickly changing world. This requires setting clear direction, fostering resilience and well-being, and inspiring team members to be engaged and innovative.

By focusing on these areas, leaders can create an environment that encourages collaboration, creativity, and innovation. This will have a profoundly positive impact on the business and its stakeholders.

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