Posted on: May 6th, 2010 by Jen Mueller

My father used to tell me “If you’re talking just to hear yourself talk, stop it.”  I’ve been accused of doing that many times, which is how I ended up as an expert talker.  So many times we focus on what we’re going to say instead of what we’re going to ask. Yesterday I outlined a quick conversation you could start based on Mariners outfielder Milton Bradley.  You can check out the link here.  Take a look at that conversation – your part consists of 3 questions.  You don’t have to do extensive research to ask those questions, but you can get a lot of information as a result of that conversation.   Question asking is key to a good conversation, especially when you’re getting to know someone – like on a date.

Let me give you an example of a conversation I had once over dinner.

Me: “Do you follow baseball?”

Him: “Yeah, a little.  Not as much as I used to, but I don’t really watch the Mariners.”

Me: “Do you have favorite team?”

Him: “I grew up watching the Red Sox.”

Me: “Why Boston?”

Him: “Because I grew up on the East Coast. My sister and I still go to games when I go home during the summer and we take a trip to see the Red Sox in Spring Training every year.”

The conversation was a great starting point to get to know my date better, and all I had to do was keep asking questions.   Asking questions on a date or when you’re talking to co-workers sends two messages – ‘I’m interested in what you have to say,’ and ‘I value your opinion and comments.’  That goes a long way in building a good relationship.

Make it Interesting – A few talking points to bring up in conversation this week:

–  Milton Bradley is dealing with personal issues.  This will be a topic of conversation with baseball fans for a while.

– For the football fan, here’s an interesting article on Tim Tebow.  He’s got the top selling jersey in the entire NFL right now – and he’s only completed a couple practices with the Denver Broncos.