A Thanksgiving Networking Challenge

Five Questions for Family and Friends During the Holidays…A Thanksgiving Networking Challenge

Can’t network because you are planning on spending time with family and friends during the holidays? When I hear this excuse it makes me believe that the networker I am speaking with has not grasped the true meaning of networking. I’ll remind you again, networking is the sharing of information, ideas, and resources. If you are not sharing information, ideas, and resources with your friends and family what are you talking about? You are most likely talking about the weather, sports, food, etc. While these topics are great ice-breakers they are not deep, meaningful, or interesting and quite frankly, a little boring.

Why not ask different questions this holiday season. It might surprise you how much you didn’t know about your friends and family. Here are my top 5 questions I use when attending a family function: (These questions are great for kids and adults alike.)

1. What did you do today? This question usually gets the conversation started and you can gain insight into the daily habits of your family member.

2. What books are you reading? The answer to this question will give you great insight as to their focus in life–which will most likely lead to more conversation.

3. Do you volunteer or support any charitable organizations? If so, a good follow up question is how did you chose that organization?

4. For the working adult: What is your biggest struggle in your job/business?

For the retiree: What was the biggest struggle in your job/business or what do you find most challenging now that you have retired?
For the student: What is your biggest struggle in school or what is your favorite part of school?
For the stay-at-home parent: What is your biggest day to day challenge at home?
A great follow-up question would be what did/are you doing to solve that issue?

5. What is your biggest goal for 2016? How are you planning on reaching that goal?

Bonus question for the techies…What apps do you use most?

With a little preparation and forethought you can create more meaningful conversations thus creating more enjoyment of time spent with family and friends.

THE CHALLENGE: I challenge you to ask all 5 questions of at least 3-5 people this Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving,
Gina Estrada

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