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Deeper questions, better conversations

by Bob Tiede, Cru

"How are you?" 

"I'm fine. How are you?" 

We are all too familiar with this conversation exchange. We usually ask it as a greeting rather than with the intent of actually acquiring information about the other person. 

Let's start greeting others in a way that sparks genuine care. Especially now, how can you reinvent this question to help build stronger relationships and better conversations? 

Here are alternatives you can ask instead.

  • What was the best part about your day?

  • What work is most exciting to you this week?

  • What new ideas are giving you energy lately?

  • Tell me one thing you’ve learned recently that inspired you.

  • What is one thing we could do right now to make this (day, project, event) even better?

  • From my colleague, Judy Douglass: How has God surprised you lately?

Here are three questions that two friends can use whenever they connect:

  • What's on your schedule?

  • Who's on your heart?

  • How can I pray for you?

--Bob Tiede serves with Cru on the U.S. Leadership Development Team. He’s written several books, and he posts regularly on at  Read his article about the power of questions in his article “I Was  a Benevolent Dictator” in the summer edition  of Entrust’s blog, Equipping Christian Leaders. You can sign up for the  blog today at

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