LIFE HACK EXERCISES for WRITERS

Life Hack #1: Have incredible conversations and connections with this hack

by Anthony J. Yeung anthony@anthonyjyeung.com via automations.mcsv.net

One of the best ways to change your life is to have deep, meaningful connections with great people — whether networking, dating, or just making awesome friends.

Well, in the past decade, I’ve had conversations with over 2,000 different strangers while out and about. (Not bad for a shy, introverted kid who couldn’t ask for the time.)

Along the way, I’ve learned how to have great conversations and overcome a lot of, uh, EMBARRASSING STUMBLING BLOCKS.

Virtually every article on the Internet tells you to ask questions. But relying on them is actually a poor tactic:


It creates “question trains,” where you ask question after question until it becomes an interrogation. “What do you do? How long have you been doing that? What do you like about it? Why did you choose it?”
Questions take value. Rather than sharing anything unique about yourself, you just ask questions to perpetuate the conversation.
It forces conversations. Often, people ask questions to try to hook someone into talking to them.
Instead, make more statements.

Statements let you share something about yourself, your personality, and your perspective and creates a natural way for the conversation to continue — and explains WHY you want it to continue — without outright asking them to do so.

Bad Example:
You: “Where did you go?”
Them: “I went to Europe.”
You: “How long were you there?”
Them: “2 weeks.”
You: “What’s your favorite thing about Europe?”
Them: “Uh, I don’t know.”

Here, you’re making them do all the work without sharing anything about yourself or even hinting at why you’re asking. (You also asked three straight questions; the last one a really big one that takes a lot of work to answer.)

Good Example:
You: “Where did you go?”
Them: “I went to Europe.”
You: “That’s awesome! I love Europe. I’ve only been to Spain, but I felt like I was home.”
Them: “Yeah, I loved Spain too.”
You: “I’d love to go again… just to eat.”
Them: “Actually, I went on a tapas tour when I was there.”
You: “Wow! What was that like??”
Them: [tells a story]

Here, you shared about yourself, your experiences, and your perspective. You only asked one question and even that question was just a natural followup. You never forced them to talk to you; instead, your statements invited them to respond.

That, ultimately, is the goal: Getting people to feel comfortable opening up about themselves. And the only way to do that is for you to open up first.

Now, I’m not saying you should never ask a question.

Here’s a tip from Wayne Elise who coaches thousands of top performers on conversation and co-authored a #1 New York Times bestseller:

Think of questions like bullets in a revolver; you only get six.

If you do feel like asking a question, make sure it’s an interesting one — that way, you get out of the typical, boring questions and actually encourage them to show a bit of their personality and uniqueness:

“What was your favorite thing about Europe?” vs “Where could you see yourself living in Europe?”

I hope this helps you have better, deeper, and richer conversations with people you just met.

And if you want a detailed guide that breaks down my priceless tips for extraordinary conversations, then click this link to learn more.

Stay tune for tomorrow’s hack! It’s a doozy.

Best – Anthony

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