Motivation Monday: How Are You? Challenge
Each Monday, we're rolling out a new challenge to change the way you think, act, do, or feel. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be motivated to try something different for a week. And if you love it, keep it going!
This week, we're challenging you to not ask anyone 'How are you?' (or any close variation of the question like 'How are you doing?')
Why? This question has become as commonplace as saying 'hello'. It's sort of a default way to greet people. But do you really want to be the conversational equivalent of an email auto-responder?
Generally speaking we don't even want to know the answer to that question. If something's wrong, you don't expect someone to unload on you when you ask this seemingly polite question. As a result, if we're asked it, we tend to go with default responses like 'fine' or 'good', and then ask the question back.
How about asking a more meaningful question? One that's going to open the door for conversation and not end up with a one-word response (at best).
It could be as simple as asking someone, "How has your morning been so far?" or "How was your lunch today?" If it's a coworker, ask them how a particular project is going, or follow up on a conversation you had last week.
And if someone asks you 'How are you?', challenge yourself to answer it honestly and completely. If you're tempted to say good, think for a moment as to why you're fine. Did you have a good morning commute in? Are you looking forward to something special? Do you have some exciting news to share? Even a comment about the weather and how it's impacting your mood is more engaging than 'good' or 'fine'.
You'll be surprised at how often this simple change impacts your conversations and relationships with coworkers, friends, and family. Let us know what you think!