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This Is The Key To Mastering Small Talk, According To Harvard Researchers

Here’s a research-backed tip to get you through your next awkward dinner party conversation: Just ask the person you’re chatting with questions ― and a lot of follow-up questions.

In a series of studies on human interaction, Harvard Business School doctoral student Karen Huang and her research team analyzed more than 300 online and face-to-face conversations between people getting to know each other.

For the online conversations component, participants were assigned a random person to talk with for 15 minutes. In the first study, they told one person in each pairing to ask either many questions (at least nine) or a few questions (no more than four).

After the conversations ended, participants reported how much they liked their partner. The conclusion? The people who asked more questions, particularly follow-up questions, were considered more likable. Read more here.

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