Proximity functions as a connective drug. Get close, and our tendency to connect lights up.

What’s your IQ? No, this is a serious question. Have you been asked that before? Probably not, because it’s quite a rude question. Almost as rude as asking someone what they do for a living at a party.

No one wants to talk about work at a party. No one wants to sum up their entire life by sharing their occupation. Share your interests. Share what’s got you fired up.

Let’s change it up. What is your emotional IQ? Did you even bat an eyelash? Doesn’t this question seems to be safer somehow?

Asking someone what their IQ is a status game. It’s a devilish question that leaves the person uneasy, unfairly come for, and treated poorly.

Asking someone about their emotional IQ leads to fun interactions, empathy building conversations, and opportunities to connect.

“Proximity functions as a connective drug. Get close, and our tendency to connect lights up.” – Coyle

The next time you’re at a party, share your interests. Be enthusiastic. Ask people about their interests. Build both your emotional IQs by being interested in other people’s lives.

“Collective intelligence is not that different in some ways than apes in a forest. One ape is enthusiastic, and that signal recruits others, and they jump in and start doing stuff together. That’s the way group intelligence works, and this is what people don’t get. Just hearing something said rarely results in a change in behavior. They’re just words. When we see people in our peer group play with an idea, our behavior changes. That’s how intelligence is created. That’s how culture is created.” – Coyle

Did this post make you think differently about how you conduct better conversations at parties? Think I’m full of hot air? Contact me, I’d love to hear about it!

Author: David Neely

Professional Software Developer. Technology and Web Coordinator at the University of Hawaii's Manoa Career Center.