Getting to know your coworkers can make your workday more enjoyable and maybe even be the start of building relationships that continue outside work. The question is, how do you kick it off? You don’t want to ask those boring questions everyone else is asking but asking the wrong question can be like stepping into a minefield. Offending someone is no way to start a good working relationship.
Break the ice with your coworkers with some of these sample questions:
If you had to move to a different country, which one would you choose?
This can tell you a lot about someone’s values and dreams. Be sure to follow up by asking why and sharing your own choice.
How can you tell you’re turning into one of your parents?
This is a fun question because almost everyone notices this about themselves as they grow older, but it could be nearly anything from how they sit, the expressions they use, and the interests they develop.
Dog person or cat person?
Simple question, but who doesn’t love talking about their pets or pets they wish they had. Who knows, maybe they have a hamster, horse, or iguana.
What was the best part of 2020 for you?
The pandemic had a significant negative impact on most people’s lives, but most had a least one positive thing occur, and good things are a lot more fun to talk about. Maybe they got to spend more time with families, had time to paint their kitchen, or read a few more books.
If you could call a meeting, what would it be about?
A lot of people say they hate meetings, but what if they could have complete control? Who knows what people will come up with? How to do a pivot table, ideas to help the company grow, or maybe how to get people to stop cooking fish in the microwave.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
Any questions with a positive slant are great to open a conversation, and most enjoy talking about what they’re good at.
If we had a company talent show, what would you do?
It’s always fun to hear about people’s hidden talents. Your coworker may surprise you or you might at least get them thinking.
What all these questions have in common is that they are open-ended, positive, and helps you get to know people in a fun way without being intrusive, which is also a great way to approach interview questions.
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