One of the best parts of the holidays is connecting with dear friends and family. But, reality is often small talk versus truly deep connections.
Upping your conversation game can not only make you happier, but one study showed that knowing the history around your family was the single biggest predictor of children's emotional health and happiness. Take charge of your holiday conversations:
At meals: One conversation at a time is the single biggest change you could make to deepening conversations. It prevents you from repeating the same story 10 times during the night and makes sure you connect with everyone at the meal, not just the ones sitting next to you. Your goal is to ask open-ended questions that get people talking. A few good ones:
What do you love about your life most and why?
What is the best book you've read in the past year and why?
What is a fear you'd like to overcome?
What are you most excited about for 2018?
What are you struggling with right now?
What is one thing you want to do differently in 2018?
What is your proudest moment of your life?
What is your most embarrassing moment and what did you learn from it?
At parties: Ask questions like a five year old. Be curious. When someone says they work in capital markets, throw away your ego and ask what the hell that even means. Keep asking until you really understand what they do and can engage them in a discussion that you get something from. When your goal becomes to learn, you'l be shocked at how much deeper and interesting conversations become.
What are your best conversation tips?