The first two are these: So. Many. Bicycles. Everyone rides a bike to get around. Young and old, they’re all on their bikes. Also, cigarettes. Way more people smoking than I would see at home, and there are cigarette vending machines on the (residential) streets.
So often when we’re not sure what to say, maybe in a situation when we have to talk with people we don’t know well, we try to turn the conversation to topics we’re familiar with. Sports, movies, our last vacation…these give us a place to start from.
I think this is good advice in the situation that you presented before. However, I would add the caveat that, when you’re in a creative environment or attempting to collaborate with someone, it’s actually better to throw out an idea than a question.
Last week my daughter and I were playing mini-golf. I noticed that she tended to sort of casually approach the ball and, with her feet at angles to one another and her weight in one hip, swipe it in the direction of the hole.
If the purpose of communication is to create a change, to make something different as a result of speaking, then often we are simply pretending to communicate.
What brought you here?
What have you enjoyed so far about this conference/event/meeting? What has surprised you?