One of my favorite concepts that James and Deborah Fallows talked about in their recent trip to Delaware was the idea of the second question.
When you meet someone, after you learn their name, what’s the next question you ask?
In serious, striving places it’s “Where do you work?” In places with a lot of transplants it’s “Where are you from?” In places with a lot of long time residents it’s “Where did you go to high school?” And hopefully, in some places it’s “What do you do for fun?”
I think we could all benefit from being more intentional with our second questions. At events, I tend to go with “how did you end up here?” It’s intentionally up for interpretation. They might not be sure if the question is about the specific event, or the city in general, or something in between.
So, what’s your second question?