Key to engaging coffee chats

I've enjoyed catching up with friends about their summer adventures and meeting new students on campus. Often we'll "meet for coffee" (even though I don't drink coffee). Here are some observations about the conversations I've found most engaging.

  • Talking about situations that make us feel vulnerable. Sometime this is about personal relationships. Other times this is about professional ambitions. I get excited when people are willing to be 100% genuine with me. You can't fake this.
  • Sharing ideas that aren't fully formed yet. In addition to the novelty of new ideas, I appreciate feeling like we are working together to push the idea forward.
  • Asking thoughtful follow up questions. There's nothing worse than someone only wanting to talk about themselves.
  • Keeping our phones in our pockets. It's important to be fully present, even if it's only for a short time.