Dear Novice Listener:
In my previous letter, Help for the Loquacious, I suggested some ways to better engage a person who does not verbally process to the extent which you do. If you are willing to practice, here are 20 questions you could pose to encourage another person to participate more actively in a conversation. Some are better for newer acquaintances and others for closer friends.
- What has your week been like?
- What have you been reading or watching?
- What is something you have learned recently?
- What is something new you would like to try?
- Where would you like to visit?
- How can I pray for you?
- What is currently your biggest struggle or road block?
- What do you consider some of your successes?
- What was the best compliment you have received?
- What are you most thankful for this week?
- How have you seen God working in your life lately?
- What is a decision for which you need wisdom?
- What is your most challenging relationship?
- What kinds of things fill your love tank (make you feel treasured)?
- What are you looking forward to?
- What are you concerned about?
- What is something that you would like to have an opportunity re-do?
- What are some of your talents or abilities?
- Will you tell me a funny story from your life?
- What is your favorite dessert? Or place to eat out?
Obviously, you don’t want to bombard the person to the extent of being considered “the Grand Inquisitor” as my husband once called me. It takes more than listening briefly to one answer to build trust. It is important to become a safe person with whom others can share their hearts.