The Introductory Question to Stop Asking (And What to Ask Instead)

The Introductory Question to Stop Asking (And What to Ask Instead)

The Introductory Question to Stop Asking (And What to Ask Instead)

Blog79_IntroductoryQuestion_PeopleDrinking-300x200 The Introductory Question to Stop Asking (And What to Ask Instead)Think back to the last several people you’ve met and the conversations you’ve had upon meeting them. What were among the first questions you asked or have been asked? If you live in the United States, or much of the Western world, one of the first questions that likely comes up in an introductory conversation is “What do you do?” the implied meaning being “What do you do professionally?” or “How do you make your income?”

Blog79_IntroductoryQuestion_PeopleMeeting-300x200 The Introductory Question to Stop Asking (And What to Ask Instead)While many of us have been conditioned to ask this question and find it perfectly acceptable to be asked, there are a few reasons we might want to change up the conversation and ask something else. The first is that asking someone what they do, although indirectly, boxes them into their 9-5 jobs and their capacity to earn an income. As a result, this question might exclude people who are not employed, either by choice, because they are affected by the changing social, cultural, and economic conditions that make it increasingly difficult to find and maintain stable jobs, or because they are simply taking the time to figure it out. Furthermore, as we’ve written about previously, given the current and future generations’ longer lifespans, people are more inclined to hold multiple careers throughout their lifetime. Asking a question like “What do you do?” limits a person to their current pursuits or career and erases what they might have done in the past or intend to do in the future. Finally, humans are complex and layered beings who are so much more than what they do between the hours of 9am to 5pm or thereabouts. A question like “What do you do?” does not fully capture a person’s hobbies, talents, skills, interests, and other personality traits.

Blog79_IntroductoryQuestion_FriendsEating-300x200 The Introductory Question to Stop Asking (And What to Ask Instead)The question “What do you do?” need not be completely eliminated from introductory conversations with new people, but we can reframe this question or supplement it with others so as to get a more complete picture of who a person truly is and what is they want to accomplish in their lives. Some other questions that you might consider asking someone new you meet instead of “What do you do?” might include:

  1. What do you enjoy doing?
  2. What are your passions? Your hobbies? Your interests?
  3. How do you currently occupy your time? What projects are you currently working on?
  4. What issues are important to you?
  5. What are your goals?
  6. What drives or energizes you? What makes you happy in life?
  7. What do you enjoy reading or learning about? Are you reading anything good these days?
  8. How did you end up where you currently are?
  9. Are there other projects or activities that you hope to pursue in the future?
  10. What is something you’ve done that you’re especially proud of?
  11. What is an experience you’ve had that has taught you the most?
  12. Who or what inspires you?
  13. What do you enjoy offering others?
  14. What is your favorite thing to do at the end of a long day or week?
  15. What would you like other people to know about you?

Blog79_IntroductoryQuestion_CoffeeDate-1-300x206 The Introductory Question to Stop Asking (And What to Ask Instead)Do you have other questions you’d like to add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!

In an increasingly complex world where people are surrounded by more opportunities than ever to cater to their whole selves rather than just their professional, money-making selves, it is time to change up our conversations and the stories we tell ourselves and each other to reflect the changing reality of our times.

Blog79_IntroductoryQuestion_GirlInCafe-300x200 The Introductory Question to Stop Asking (And What to Ask Instead)If you are looking for a fun and innovative way to pursue your vast array of interests, to learn new things at your own pace, and/or to share your unique knowledge, skills, and experiences with the world (and even make money doing so), you’ll want to check out Konversai! Konversai is the world’s first one-stop shop for any and all personalized human knowledge on any topic you can think of (and even those that you didn’t think of). Konversai’s online platform connects providers of knowledge with seekers of knowledge on any topic of interest—be it a foreign language, a sport, a musical instrument, cooking, travel, books, an academic subject, life or career coaching, health and wellness, photography, art, acting, fashion, or anything else under the sun—through one-on-one live video conversations. One of the core premises behind Konversai is that no matter who you are, where you’re from, what you do, how old you are, or what your circumstance in life are, everybody has something of value to offer than can benefit someone somewhere in the world.

Blog79_IntroductoryQuestion_GuyAtCouch-300x200 The Introductory Question to Stop Asking (And What to Ask Instead)Konversai encourages all users to be both providers of knowledge and seekers of knowledge on any and as many topics as they wish. Knowledge providers have the option of charging as much as they want for their time. If you don’t need the money, you can always hold sessions for free or donate your earnings to a charity of your choice. Meanwhile, knowledge seekers have the opportunity to learn anything they want on any subject from a live human being. So what are you waiting for? Join Konversai and be part of our mission to democratize knowledge, put the human connection back into technology, and make the world better by enabling meaningful and authentic conversations that can improve people’s lives. Get in on the fun and join Konversai today!

By Pavita Singh

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2 Replies to “The Introductory Question to Stop Asking (And What to Ask Instead)”

  1. I wanted to be part of it and share my knowledge and skills to everyone! 😊 Hope I could better understand how to join. I’ll appreciate if someone could guide me.

    1. Hi Mae~
      Thanks for your interest! We are excited to have you on the platform! You can get started right away simply by creating an account at Then you can create provider boxes (listings of things you’d like to teach) and/or seek boxes (listings of things you’d like to learn), and from there you can start connecting with other users. As a provider, you can charge as much as you want for your sessions, and you are responsible for your own lesson materials. You will need to be in a location with reliable internet connection in order to have sessions, as sessions take place on FaceTime or Skype, and all the booking, scheduling, and payment are done online. Let us know if you have any other questions.

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