Stop asking ”how are you’. These are the 3 most useless words and they do not add any value to a connection. It’s because the person who asks this question really is least interested in knowing an answer unless it is a very close connection and the answer to the question is usually not true. If you are sick, you won’t say, no, I am not good, why do you ask?
According to Harvard researchers, the key to making the most out of small talk is to ask follow-up questions. After analyzing 300 online conversations, scientists say, that person is more likable if they don’t ask questions like ‘how are you’, and ‘what do you do’.
“When people are instructed to ask more questions, they are perceived as higher in responsiveness, an interpersonal construct that captures listening, understanding, validation and care,”
So the question is, how to initiate a conversation?
The key to making a meaningful conversation is to get to the point straight away. Stating the purpose of the conversation, gently beginning with a soft tone, and building up the talk makes you likable and makes you an interesting person instead of a boring person.
It’s about beginning with a good story, showing you are compassionate and thoughtful when you ask questions in a conversation adds an instant connection.
Research also says that by adding words in your conversation such as “I’m grateful.” instantly creates a positive impact on the opposite person. People pay attention to your expression of gratitude. According to a study from the American Psychological Association, saying “I’m grateful” can attract positive experiences in a conversation.
When you are able to establish a connection with someone during a conversation and have a meaningful discussion with them, it is a good indication that people generally like you. In other words, being able to connect with others and have engaging conversations is a positive trait that can help you build strong relationships with people.