When you ask, “Hi, how are you?” Do you really want to know?

When you ask, “Hi, how are you?”  Do you really want to know?

 How often have you asked the question to someone; How are you today?  What are you really looking for in terms of an answer?  “Great, just fine, good or miserable or awful?”

My question to you is this; do you really want to know?  How often memory, instinct, and habit take over our conversations?  Said differently, would you wait around to dig a little deeper, hang there with someone, really find out how he’s doing if you ask him the question?

I fall into the same trap as everyone else, instantly asking a question like “how are you?” without really expecting or wanting any type of earth shattering answer.  God forbid when someone replies, “God awful.”  What do I do then?  “Oh, sorry to hear about that.  Well, I guess I’ll see you later.”

Do we really care or want to know how people are really doing?  Will we be there for them if they really need us?  Conversely, would they even tell us the truth?

Here’s my challenge for you:  Care… about the type of question that you ask someone, really mean it or don’t ask it at all.

Don’t ask a question just to spark a conversation, just because you have nothing to say.  And if you aren’t really interested or just don’t have time to listen, simply say, “I just wanted to say hi.”  And then stop.  Nothing else.  Yes, it might be an awkward moment, but what’s worse?  You asking a question that you really don’t want the answer to, or them believing you really don’t care anyway?

If you can, be as sincere and genuine as you can.  People will know the difference.



Mean what I say, Mean what I ask, or don’t say or ask at all

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Categories: Uncategorized

Author:Rubi Ho

Rubi Ho is Vice President of Sherpa Executive Coaching in Cincinnati, Ohio. He works with senior executives and their organizations on leadership development and the integration of leadership and executive coaching into their cultures. Born in Vietnam, he and his family escaped from Saigon in 1975, the day before it fell. He resides with his lovely wife and 3 year old son in Cincinnati, OH.


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