Everyone You Meet Is a Craftsman: A Clue to Good Conversations with Strangers

Today I had fascinating conversations with strangers across several spectrums of life.

I spoke with runners about their favorite races, and I asked a race organizer about what it takes to organize a running event (lots of relationship-building).

I spoke with an airport security guard about the celebrities he has seen in the course of his job (quite a few).

I asked a bluegrass band’s banjo player about the reception to bluegrass music in China (apparently it was the only time he ever felt like a rock star).

Most of my best and easiest conversations start when I choose to ask strangers about the process, story, or passion behind the thing they do – their craft. People love talking about the things they love to do, or the things they are at least good at.

If you want to have more interesting, engaging interactions with strangers, start by thinking of strangers as craftsmen and craftswomen. Everyone has some skill or trade they know better than you, and talking about that proficiency can be a good start into talking about other things as well.

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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