On a recent trip to California I was blessed to go out to dinner with my friend and co-author Ken Blanchard, his wife Margie, Phyllis Hendry (the CEO of Lead Like Jesus Ministries), and two other couples. One of the thing I love about Ken is that he’s intentional about everything, even dinner conversation.
I’ve been to many dinners, and I find that I usually spend time talking to the person next to me, and I don’t really getting to know the rest of the people. Yet, this dinner was different. As soon as our drinks were ordered Ken asked Margie to get out the discussion cards.
The rules were that we’d go around the table and everyone would pull a card and answer it. There were questions like:
What two political subjects are you most passionate about? and What is your greatest weakness?
I was amazed how deeply and passionately the questions were answered. I clearly remember one of the men—a very successful CEO—sharing about his struggle with turning over control to God. I was touched.
We answered a few rounds of questions as dinner was being served, and then just when I thought things were winding down, Ken asked one last, great question that everyone had to answer:
What are you most excited at this point in your life?
It was fun to hear what everyone was excited about. One woman was excited because some international students she’d been mentoring had recently graduated. Another woman (in her seventies) was excited about the French lessons and art classes she was taking.
I walked away from that dinner party feeling refreshed and inspired. I felt as if I’d made new friends, and I saw my own life in a new way. I realized I could be more intentional about connecting with others, and I’d be given great gifts of understanding others’ hearts.
Next time you invite friends over, consider being more intentional about sharing insightful conversation, rather than just making small talk <click to tweet>. People love to open up and share what really excites them. They are often happy to share what how God is working in their lives. It’s up to us to let them know we do want to hear it, we do care. And when you taken time to listen, you never know how you’ll be changed.
Discussion Starters for Dinner Parties <click to tweet>
- Do you have a life calling?
- What’s your best organizational tip?
- How do you decide what your priorities are?
- What is something unexpected that has happened to you in the last year?
- What are you most excited about today?
I also found these cards that I recently ordered. I can’t wait to use them!
Finally, what is your favorite dinnertime discussion question?
Sally Ferguson says
I always hide in my food consumption. Thank you for the tips for getting my head in the conversation!
Tricia Goyer says
You’re welcome! I know you’ll enjoy it!
Andrea Dutt says
One of my all time favorite questions to ask is similar to what are you excited about. My question is “what is something coming up that you are looking forward to”? I love hearing people’s reply about vacations or trips and stuff like that! Thanks for the post!!!
Tricia Goyer says
I love this question! It sounds like a great discussion starter on Facebook, too!
Tesha Fritz says
Were those table topic cards any good?
Tricia Goyer says
Yes, we love them!
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