Scott’s Thoughts: The 36 Questions

“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”

-André Gide. French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

Sailboat on the open sea.Have you read the recent New York Times piece, “The 36 Questions That Lead to Love“? The questions are derived from research by psychologist Arthur Aron, who was investigating “whether intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by having them ask each other a specific series of personal questions.” (Indeed, the questions are quite personal.)

According to the researchers, “One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure.”

While you may not be looking to fall in love with fellow team members or clients, there’s some wisdom here to be found: Vulnerability is key to building trust and deepening connections.

Sure, you’re not likely to run through these questions in a professional situation, but some of them could be quite useful. Share an embarrassing story about yourself. Tell your clients something “you like about them already.” Explain what you’re most grateful for in your life.

Enjoy the questions. Reflect on them. Share them. Leave the safe shore of unflappable confidence and clinical professionalism and discover some new lands.

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