The heart of each meeting is a time of one-on-one, soul to soul discussion. So what is a good conversation starter to get a man to talk about this? There may be some discussion about what to order for lunch. Or maybe the project you are going to do together today. Or even the weather today.
But when it gets to the heart of the meeting, you want a straightforward question. Never something like the opening line of a speech or sermon. Err to asking that question too soon. So you do not bog down in nonessentials.
The center of each meeting is lovingly getting to the heart of the other person.
Possible Conversation Starters
- “Well, what’s been going on with Joe?” this is a good opener in almost any situation. You can use it to open every meeting. No one gets tired of it.
- “Whats been going on with Joe since we last met?” Good for someone you talked in depth with a little while ago.
- “Tell me about Joe.” Good line if you have never met one-on-one before.
What a conversation starter should do.
- Get the focus on the other person
- Get him to talk about what is in his heart. His current concerns or joys. Remember He Needs to Talk.
- Use his preferred name.
- Be VERY open-ended.
What conversation starter should NOT do.
- Suggest a topic. If Joe told you in advance what he wanted, it might have changed.
- Pull the focus toward yourself.
- Indicate your opinion on ANYTHING. Especially politics, sports teams, and theology.
What if he asks you first?
Answer him with the same depth and sincerity that expect from him. Admitting that you too have issues is healthy. It often strengthens the relationship. Now immediately flip the question back on him! And next time you take the lead.
Here is a blog post that suggests 125 conversation starters. However, I found NONE of them that opens up the way for an in-depth ministry. And meaningful personal ministry to others is the heart of being a follower of Jesus. John 13:34-35.
This medical article has a suggestion in Table 1. I will talk more about that and its meeting outline in another post.