In reading this book I’ve become more and more aware of how much I avoid asking questions and my two reasons why. The first is that I’m more your ‘stand up comedian friend’ and less your ‘therapist friend’. My conversation style is observational - I value honesty and humour and connect mainly by adding things to a conversation and less by drawing things out from others. Secondly, asking questions is so personal and has the potential to be invasive - questions can take you right to the pointy edge of an issue. Newman, however is a master at getting people to this space and using questions to create opportunities for mindset shift. He calls this dialoguing to the point of despair:
Some people are brilliant at small talk and starting conversations. I was eating at a Lebanese restaurant with my husband and young son when a friendly guy (also with a young son) sitting several tables away caught the eye of my husband and said, “How’s life?” And then they started talking. I had assumed that they must know each other from the park or around the traps. No. They had never met before. This guy just confidently threw a line out there and my husband went with it.