What I Ask INSTEAD OF “So, What Do You Do?”

Meeting new people becomes a far more enjoyable, much less daunting endeavor when you simply show up with deep curiosity and a smattering of questions that AREN’T…

“So, what do you do?”.

The variations of questions I like to sprinkle into my conversations when meeting someone for the first time are ones that, more often than not, bring a smile or fun expression to the other person’s face before/while they answer.

In the hopes these questions might be useful to you, here they are…

(TIP: grab just 1 or 2 that you like; don’t feel like you need to use all of these!!)

  • So tell me, what do you do… when you’re NOT working?
  • What do you find yourself thinking a lot about these days?
  • So tell me, what’s the absolute most FUN thing you’ve done in the past month that just lit you up? (People usually grin when getting asked this, and their eyes jump back and forth and back and forth as they start scanning through their past weeks…)
  • May I ask… what’s the biggest CHALLENGE you’re currently facing in your life? (This gets people to open up and become a bit more vulnerable – if they’re willing… It’s a beautiful question.)
  • May I ask… what SCARES you? (Variation of the question above…)
  • What’s happening in the next year that you’re SUPER EXCITED about?
  • So what’s the DREAM? (Where do you see yourself in 5 years?) – thanks Stephen Sherick AKA Master of Connection

The only actions I take when asking the above questions are:

  1. Look directly into the person’s eyes while smiling big (this is easy when you’re genuinely excited + curious about what they’re going to say)


  2. I listen very closely to what the person says (which makes it easy and fun to ask followup questions and dive deeper)

That’s it.

No magic.

Nothing fancy.

Just connecting with others and getting them out of their auto-responses of “Here’s what I do” and showing them that I know they’re so much more than the work they do (even the entrepreneurs).

Overall, I’ve found people are quite fascinating when you simply give them the opportunity to be.

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