I like to know what is going on with people. You might interpret that as me being kind of nosy, but I really just enjoy knowing what people are thinking about and what situations they are walking through because that drives real conversation.
It’s one thing to launch into generic questions like, “How was school today?” or, “Did you have a good weekend?” It is a totally different thing to ask, “How was your Spanish test on Thursday that you were really nervous about?”
Now don’t get me wrong, I definitely use the generic questions. They are great lead ins to hear what is really going on. They open the doors to those specific questions.
How do you work your way to those specific questions?
1. ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS
Have some of those general questions in your pocket ready to go as soon as you get the opportunity to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to push into something they say with deeper questions. Open-ended questions like “why” and “how” are great ways to give them space to talk more.
2. SPEND TIME WITH YOUR GIRLS
It’s impossible to know what is actually going on with your girls if you don’t spend time with them.
This can be a tough one. Especially for those of us who have trouble turning our brains off. But listening is one of the most powerful tools when it comes to relationships. Listening tells you how, where, and when to dig deeper.
4. TAKE NOTES
Now I’m not saying let’s all become detectives with our little notepads. But I am saying that it can be really helpful to have a note on your phone that you can add little key points about conversations you have. If you chat with a girl on a Sunday morning in the midst of lots of other crazy things happening, jot down a reminder of what the convo was about so that you can follow up. I typically keep a note for Sundays and Wednesdays that just outline important things I need to remember so that they don’t get lost in all of the other information in my brain.
5. FOLLOW UP
Following up is difficult when lots of things are going on, but it is SO important. Set a reminder on your calendar. Put a note card on your desk. Add it to your prayer calendar. Find what works for you and dive in.
Digging into relationships is hard and does take some work. But it’s totally worth it.
Disclaimer: If you lead more than 10-15 girls, you need people doing this alongside of you. Get your leaders on board. Have this conversation with them.
What are ways you guys have found to get to the good stuff? - Becca