4 min read

Make Room For Questions

Make Room For Questions
Photo by Jon Tyson / Unsplash

My grandmother called it "the gift of gab." More recently people have termed it, "being conversational." Whatever you call it, the art of small talk is a valuable skill to have when your world requires you to thrive in frequently changing settings.

In my career, I've been fortunate to find myself in many new and diverse circumstances, which fuels my soul-level need for variety and discovery. The frequent newness was in part because of my life circumstances when building companies - single with no kids when my business partners were all married with young children. "We have an amazing opportunity, but it's in Hong Kong next week. Send Andy, he'll make it work."

But the other reason was the result of the roles I've played in various organizations, particularly in the sales and partnership side of the house. When you're on the front lines of an organization, success hinges on your ability to walk into a new room and walk out with something of value. But that kind of success isn't only available for people whose careers depend on it. It is something I think we all should practice a little more.

To get better at "the gift of gab" you have to know how to both lead and follow the verbal dance. There is a give and take that you can observe when watching every great conversationalist that I believe breaks down into two parts: Purposeful Questions and Generous Answers.

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