Can questions foster closeness?

I believe they do.

This is why all of Project Exponential’s signature dinners use questions to bring attendees together.

It’s scary to reveal parts of ourselves to others, but in order to nuture relationships and develop closeness in both personal and professional networks, we must establish rapport, build trust and pave the way for future communication.

The questions listed in a recent NY Times article parallel some of the questions our attendees face at monthly dinners. The article groups queries in levels of vulnerability, with the first set serving up light appetizers (“When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?”) and leading up to the heavy fourth course (“If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?”).

Print out the list and ask your partner questions over tonight’s dinner. Let me know how it goes.