Better ways to ask about someone’s work
When meeting a new contact over coffee, I dislike the question, ‘Tell me about your work.’ Actually, that’s a command, not a question – and that’s why I dislike it, and I suspect many others feel the same way.
I certainly appreciate the opportunity to talk about my work, and since many people ask in this way, and I have had many conversations, I am used to responding to it. But I think if you want to open a conversation with a new contact, there are better ways to ask about their work.
Asking about someone’s work in a 1-1 conversation
‘I noticed you’ve worked with the medical industry. Has this always been a focus?’
‘I read that you are on a committee for supporting finance professionals. What do you enjoy about this role?’
‘I believe you moved here from Singapore for work. What was the experience like for you?’
You will notice that in order to ask these questions, you have to actually do some research on the person you are meeting with. But what better way is there to personalise the conversation, demonstrate interest… and quickly build rapport?