STOP ASKING, “WHAT DO YOU DO?”
Todd Dewett | September 6, 2019
I’m as guilty as anyone, but this isn’t a great lead question. You’re networking, you don’t know the person, so you say, “What do you do?” It’s innocent, but not ideal.
Every person who is asked this question feels narrowly defined by one particular label. You’re an accountant, an executive, a software engineer. We are so more than simple labels.
Consequently, I think networking and rapport-building should be more personal and creative. Ask about their favorite leisure activity. Inquire about a goal they are chasing. How about their favorite day in life so far? Ask them what they would do tomorrow if they had an unexpected day off.
Nearly anything would be more interesting than the predictable conversations we usually embrace. Sure, “What do you do?” is just a place to begin. I know. It’s not a bad thing, but it is stale. So, mix it up. I bet you have more interesting conversations – that people remember.