Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Asking about childhood memories or traditions is one of the best ways to get to that deeper level with colleagues in English.

In today’s episode, Aubrey and Lindsay share three questions you can ask to jump-start a conversation and build that connection for better work relationships and a better social life.

Childhood Memories

Lindsay asks Aubrey if she has had conversations lately with friends or even the All Ears English team members about childhood.

Aubrey says that yes, she has them all of the time.

She usually has conversations about her childhood with Jessica when they are chatting.

They would be discussing a certain topic and it then reminds them of something in their childhood.

They have such a fun conversation talking about things they did when they were young and they learn so much about each other.

Lindsay is happy to know this.

She shares that talking about childhood memories creates that connection with another person.

This episode is inspired by a previous episode where Aubrey shared about ice fishing with her dad.

This is the All Ears English Episode 1744: Four Ways to Ask Your Work Colleague About Their Interests.

Aubrey mentions that asking about personal stuff like this is a skill that they want to teach you and start getting deeper conversations with others.

In America, it is very common to get to know your colleague and ask about personal stories like this.

You wouldn’t ask this when you first meet the person but as you try and build that connection with them, talking about common things you did when you were younger is a good conversation starter to bring your relationship to a deeper level.

Three Questions to Start The Conversation About Childhood Memories

Here are three questions that Lindsay and Aubrey share with you to help you start a conversation with your colleague and talk about childhood memories.

  • What is something you did when you were young that strengthened your relationship with your family?

This is a very specific question that shows your intention to get to know the person you’re talking to.

If you ask something very general like, “What was your childhood like?”, that is very surface level.

When you ask them something very specific like this, they are asked to think deeper and share a meaningful answer that will make it easier for you to connect with them.

Lindsay’s answer to this question is skiing. When she was younger, her mom and dad enrolled her and her brother in ski lessons.

On Sundays, they would go together as a family and ski all day.

This was before cell phones and Lindsay enjoyed being in the mountains and bonding with each other.

Aubrey shares that for her, what strengthened her ties with her family was going camping.

Her best camping memories were sitting around the campfire, making smores, sharing stories, and many more activities.

  • What about your childhood shaped your character?

This can be a very theoretical question. If you ask someone this, they might not be able to answer right away.

They may say that they haven’t really thought about this.

What you can do is pick up a good observation about the person and ask them how they became the way that they are.

For example, you can ask “Where did you get your amazing work ethic?”

Aubrey says that this is a good way to mention a compliment like “You’re a great leader. How’d you learn that?”

They would be happy to share what inspired them.

  • Did your family have any traditions or rituals that had a big impact on you?

There is also a follow-up question after you get an answer.

They may just answer you directly and not give more details. If they are not chatty, this is the perfect time for a follow-up question.

You can say “That’s amazing. What did it mean to you?”

Aubrey’s parents would take her and her siblings on individual dates.

She had a few siblings and having one-on-one time with her parents felt really special.

Lindsay had a tradition with her family where they would put the lights up before Christmas.

Her mom doesn’t like anything very gaudy.

Gaudy means something is too much and does not look tasteful.

Lindsay, her dad, and her brother would put up so many different colored lights all over the house.

Her mom would not be happy about it but she had so much fun doing that to tease her and have a bonding moment with her dad and brother.

Roleplay

Here is a quick roleplay by Lindsay and Aubrey, using all three questions and sample answers for you to be able to understand fully how to use them.

In this roleplay, Lindsay and Aubrey are co-workers and they are on their lunch break.

They have known each other for a while but they haven’t had any deep conversations yet.

Aubrey: I’m excited for this chance to get to know you better. We are both always so busy. We haven’t had the chance to chat much.

Lindsay: I know, right? It’s been fun to get to know you but I’d love to know more about what makes you tick.

Aubrey: Same. I know you said you grew up in Ohio, what was that like? Was it a small town?

Lindsay: Yeah, a tiny farming town.

Aubrey: What was your childhood like?

Lindsay: Oh you know, just average. Nothing special.

Aubrey: Did your family have any traditions or rituals that had a big impact on you?

Lindsay: Yeah, actually we did. Every year we would hike to a waterfall and have a picnic and I really look forward to it.

Aubrey: Oh! That’s amazing! What did it mean to you to know your parents wanted to create that special time together?

Lindsay: Well it definitely made me feel special and loved. It also was a great way for them to pass their appreciation for the beauty of nature on to me.

In this roleplay, notice that Aubrey started with what not to do.

She started with a question that was not very specific.

This is why Lindsay also answered something short and only on the surface level.

When Aubrey switched it up and asked about something deeper, it encouraged Lindsay to share something more about her childhood.

There is also a bonus expression used in the roleplay. The bonus phrase is “what makes you tick.”

This means to learn how someone thinks or why they are the way they are.

Takeaway

We are human beings and not robots.

Even at work, we need to build that connection with our colleagues and learn about each other which can eventually help you guys work better together.

It is fun to talk about our childhood because it brings in nostalgia.

Everyone can join in on the topic.

They will be happy to share memories that they are fond of and you may find similarities with one another which can be an opportunity for you to bond.

What is your best childhood memory?

How does that make you feel thinking of that? We’d love to hear your story in the comments down below.

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