Evan Genest's Learning Log

These are notes to myself. If you discover them and find them useful I would love to hear from you. Most of these are related to travel I did, books I read, or tech notes for Matomo and the LAMP stack.

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Questions to ask to know another person


Lists of conversation starters

In the book How to Know Another Person, David Brooks gives many suggestions for how to ask meaningful questions. If you dislike small talk, and are ready to be warm, real, and human, get ready to "listen" like David, with the following 54(!) questions.


Ask questions like a journalist page 85

A special kind of conversation: fighting! page 117

Paradigm is the enemy of story page 216

Questions from Diane Mitchell

Questions he got from therapist Mary Pipher, page 41

Pipher's philosophy as a therapist: Vulnerable, love-seeking people sometimes are caught in bad situations.

Ways to invite someone to talk, page 74

Continued, page 74

Your story, not a story p 218ish

The Life Tasks, after Erik Erikson page 193

  1. Imperial
  2. Interpersonal
  3. The rut - achieving mastery (usually in 30's and 40's)
  4. The generative
  5. Achieve integrity and avoid despair

These questions are so great, and precious, I felt like Brooks was giving away the shortcuts that a master like himself worked hard to accumulate between the Wall Street Journal, NY Times, and his current projects.

(David, never teach the secrets of the Wu Tang Clan!) LOL.