How Are You Answers
Others ask you how you’re doing all the time, and your answer is most likely something like “Fine. How are you?”
You can do better than that.
Yet, you might wonder why sharpening yourself in this area evens matters. For one thing, it’s an opportunity for you to present yourself as someone who’s interesting and worth having a conversation with. And regardless of who’s asking, you want them to leave the interaction thinking highly of you, not merely neutral, or worse, with the perception that you’re a bore.
Never answer “How are you?” with “busy”
This is the worst way to respond, because it’s an answer probably everyone could give. Between work, personal life, family commitments and even pets, we all have a million and one things pulling us in a different direction. When you say ‘busy,’ you’re immediately setting a negative tone for the next few moments in a conversation and discouraging real connection.”
This is especially true for anyone with whom you have a professional relationship. You should avoid answering this question with a negative comment unless you’re truly close with the person you’re speaking to. It tarnishes the conversation before it’s even begun and makes others feel uncomfortable. Instead, can you find something positive coming up in your future that you’re looking forward to which you can talk about?
Explain why you’re fine and then keep the conversation going
“I’m fine” is the answer everyone gives, but you should be able to find something great in your day which proves the point. Did you knock out a great workout before showing up at the office? Have you received good news within the last week? Did you just enjoy a satisfying meal which you can describe?
Any answer that focuses only on yourself and ends the conversation without inviting the other person to share is a missed opportunity. The question itself is an invitation to engage, and engaging should always involve inviting the person asking the question to be a part of the conversation. Don’t shrug it off and don’t burn the opportunity with a short, closed-ended answer.
Answer with a hook
Meaning, answer in a way which gets the other person to ask another question. For example “Oh, it was good. Just cut short.” This is the hook.
“Well, I had to go to bed early Thursday night as I had two TV interviews early the next morning. Of course, the rest of the family stayed up late enjoying themselves and making a racket laughing, so I got no sleep.”
This strategy works because people love hearing stories. In fact, this is evidence of what’s called ‘neural coupling’ [which is] when we listen to a story, our brains begin to synchronize with the storyteller’s. Basically, it short-circuits the person’s logical brain and creates the feeling of almost instant rapport.
People remember not what you say, but how you make them feel
What Millennials Are Teaching us about Possibilities, Passion and Purpose is being authentically present when someone engages with you. When we truly connect with others and speak from our hearts, even the words, ‘I’m fine’ sounds and feels differently. It’s not what you say, but how you say it.
Regardless of your answer, listen to and remember what the other person says
The most memorable people in life are the ones who give you attention and remember the details of your life. They’re also the individuals who are skilled at telling stories, which makes them sought after as friends, partners and business associates. So, when you’re having small talk with anyone, stop what you’re doing, be present in the moment and take mental note of what you hear. And if someone shares personal information, do your best to remember it. It can make someone’s day to know that whatever they shared has resonated and that you took the time to bring it back up.”
Jan 29, 2022