Ask why, not what

A wise friend shared a hiring tip – “When interviewing someone, don’t ask them what they’ve done. Instead, ask them why they did what they did. Why did they go to college? What about the first job? Why did they leave? That will tell you more about them than a list of what they did.”

It turns out that this piece of advice is very applicable when getting to know people as well. Conversations that are all about “what do you do” rarely go anywhere.

The best conversations move to the “why.” But, since “why” is a daunting question, there are others that serve the same purpose. What’s the dream? What drives you? What would you be doing if you didn’t have to worry about money?

People judgment is among the top few skills we need to lead effective lives. And, people judgment involves understanding what drives people and whether that aligns with our values and motives in limited time.

Great questions go a long way in helping us with this.