Beyond Small Talk

sharing cherry tomatoes

“Hi, how are you?”

“How’s life? How was the trip?”

“Heeyyy…how’s it going?”

Small talk.

When I think about it, the above questions come to mind.

Family dinners, reunions, work meetings, coaching conversations… the list goes on and on.

Gatherings, often a hub for small talk.

The bringing together of people can produce a variety of emotions. Some are predictable, others not.

Similar to designing professional learning or lesson planning, the intentionality that occurs before the gathering is just as important as the event itself.

As you think about your upcoming gatherings, personal and professional, take a moment to consider the purpose of your gathering. Is it to eat turkey and see family, connect, share updates and check-in, or revisit timelines and project updates?

Priya Parker reminds us that the right question has the power to help people see each other with fresh eyes, to navigate a conversation beyond small talk, and create an opportunity to continue learning about one another while expanding an authentic connection.

What would happen if you prioritized a collective conversation where you shared your “crucible moments” instead of small talk? Parker defines crucible moments as moments that changed us and made us who we are, “Share a moment in your life that changed how you viewed the world…”

Looking back, I’d love to know how my grandmother would have answered that prompt…

The power of an intentional question…something worth chewing on this season. 

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