Thursday, June 12, 2008

How to Talk to Anyone!

It is one thing to identify and to initiate, but how do you know your attempt at initiation won't be a complete disaster? The simplest, and the best, way to plan a conversation with people you don't know is this little acronym. Find out where they are F.R.O.M. by asking questions in the following areas:

  • FAMILY: Are you married? Any kids? Do you live with parents? How did you meet? Do you all get really busy or is this a quieter time of year?
  • RECREATION: What do you like to do in your spare time? Where did you learn to play (quilt, ride, garden, etc.)? Where do you go for vacation? What do you like to do then?
  • OCCUPATION: What do you do to pay the bills? Do you like it? Why did you chose that? What do you like best about your job? Do you have a commute? What do you do to fill the time when you're commuting? What are you studying in school?
  • MEMORIES: Where did you grow up? (Whether I like it or not, it is easy to talk with someone about Montana!) What brought you to Oregon? What do you like best about living here? Did you have brothers and sisters?
You are bound to find some common ground by being friendly and using these questions. One thing always happens. You make it easy for someone else to ask, "What about you?" While there are countless other ways to connect with someone, this simple acronym forms a platform for most of my conversations with people I don't know very well.

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