Toward the end of my autobiography, My Search for Deep Community, I suggested “Twelve Steps for Growing Deep Community.” Following is Step One:
Ask questions. When you meet with friends, ask many questions, not just one or two polite ones. Be curious. Ask follow-up questions to deepen your understanding of how other people view themselves and the world. See what you can learn. Talk less and listen more. Watch screens less and connect with humans more. These simple questions work well: Why? Why not? How did you feel about that? What are you feeling? How might you achieve that goal? Can you tell me more? What’s been on your mind lately? Other options include: What’s your passion? What’s the purpose of your life? Why not ask questions like that and listen carefully to the answers? Improve your friendships by becoming a better listener.