I heard there’s a thing called medium talk this week. The phrase is new to me, but the concept is something we can all relate to. Put simply, it’s conversation at the next level of depth beyond small talk. Moving from impersonal pleasantries to genuine connection. It turns out there are Reddit threads devoted to this, with people sharing questions they use to get beyond small talk like “What’s something you like which most people don’t?” Good question. It guarantees you’ll learn something interesting about the person you’re talking to. (My answer would be rain, just for the record).
If medium talk never happens, trust never happens. So here are three good questions to help you get to medium talk with colleagues or clients:
- What keeps you busy? The beauty of this question is that the responder can take it wherever they want to. They could tell you about deal they’re working on, their teenage kids or their penchant for building Lego replicas of Australian landmarks (I kid you not, that happened).
- How did you become interested in Morris dancing/football/quilting? This is a gentle way to steer a conversation away from a person’s interest and onto the person themselves, inviting them to tell you a story.
- What led you to…? This might be their role, organisation or industry. Again, there’s often an interesting personal story to be told.
THIS WEEK IF YOU…
- …watch one thing – make it this brilliant video on the surprising truth of what drives people’s behaviour at work. Some very clever, creative people at RSA London have taken a talk by Dan Pink and added some whiteboard magic. The result is a highly engaging video relevant for anyone who wants to engage and motivate people at work.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading, and remember if you like this please share it!
Have a great weekend.