“Work on any cool projects lately?”
Why does this one question work, almost every time? Everyone is always up to something. A new initiative at work, a side hustle, an event in the community…something. And your question allows the person to stand tall and tell you about it.
As we’ve discussed before, the best networkers focus on others. That’s why you should explore someone else’s world in the first five minutes of any conversation. And the “cool projects” question will make those five minutes zoom by.
You: “Work on any cool projects lately?”
Other person: “Yes! I just became the lead on a new program with our biggest client and…”
You: “So are you working on any cool projects?”
Other person: “Actually, yea. My friends and I are working on this new app and…”
Maybe it goes something like this…
You: “What cool projects are you working on right now?”
Other person: “I am… I’m on the planning committee for the big Relay for Life walk this weekend. It’s gonna be great, I should tell you about it…”
Once the person launches into the answer, you listen closely for ways to drop the six most important words in networking (ex: what, who, when).
“Oh, cool! What’s the goal of the program with the big client?”
“An app? Nice. Who is on your team?”
“Relay for Life is a great cause. When does it all get started this weekend?”
With this one question, which is both an ego boost and compliment, you give the person the floor as if to say “Tell me what you love to do. I’m all ears.”
As successful networkers, we naturally let people share their passion. It makes them feel valued and helps build trust, credibility and respect. (Assuming, of course, we remember to listen!).
What networking questions do you like to ask? Share below!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at News to Live By!
About the Author: Danny Rubin is a communications expert for the millennial generation. He also writes the blog News To Live By, which highlights the career advice “hidden” in the headlines. His work has appeared on Huffington Post, Business Insider and the New York Times. Follow him @DannyHRubin