I was on a train and I was reading when my phone rang. I answered and had a brief conversation, put my phone away, took a sip of coffee and continued reading. After a couple of minutes, the other person in the compartment, a twenty something male spoke up…
“Are you English?”
“No, American, from Virginia, here on business. ” I answered heading off the next two questions. I smiled and returned to my reading.
“Oh, what do you do.” He pursued.
I finished the paragraph, mark and closed the book.
“I ride trains, drink coffee and ask questions.” I set my book aside and took another long sip.
The point of this obtuse answer is kind of a filter. How one responds to this will tell me where the conversation may go. My job then is to listen carefully to the inquisitor who has been very brave to begin a conversation. I will allow him a couple of questions which will then provide me with my own questions so that I can discern who this person is and how we may connect, if only for a few moments before one of us gets off the train.
An old friend is a college professor and he understands the importance of good questions. If you understand the importance of good questions, John Wilsey provides some good reminders HERE.