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Some Great Questions To Make New Friends

If, like me you love probing, powerful questions, you’ll be as bored as I am by the standard “What do you do?” “Where do you live?” “How do you know the host?”

Yet, the fact is, most of us are too worried about being rude to ask a stranger a really profound question. So, what happens most of the time at parties or networking events is that we say hello and goodbye to a dozen strangers.

Recently, the Harvard Business School has been researching the role that shared connections play in the workplace. Turns out, we enjoy work more, stay there longer and remain connected with our colleagues if we have what Harvard calls “multiplex ties.” This is just a fancy way of saying connections outside of work: Shared hobbies, passions, sport, friends, charitable interests.

To this end, Harvard has come up with a number of questions to ask complete strangers. And I think you can agree that if Harvard is proposing you hunt down multiplex ties with new people in this way, no one can ever accuse you of being rude for asking them.

I’ll share a link to all the questions at the bottom here, but my favourite question for a stranger is: What’s the most important thing I should know about you?

This question allows the stranger to reveal whatever they choose. They could end up telling you that they’re a sweet, sensitive soul although their brutish figure belies this. They may share with you that they’re the President of the Company, which while not especially interesting in itself signals immediately their own insecurity around status. Whether they share that they are in love with their partner or their new puppy, that they are about to learn Zumba or that they are allergic to nuts, I promise it will be a whole lot more revealing and fun than the answer to “What do you do?

To read the full article I wrote about this for Forbes and see all 8 Questions, click here:

Remy Blumenfeld is a creative life coach living in London. He empowers leaders to play the game of life with purpose, grace and ease. Before training as coach, he launched a TV Production company which created  dozens of ground breaking, TV shows.

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