A psychologist, Arthur Aron, came up with a way to get to strangers to fall in love with each other. His research is fascinatingly simple! It basically comes down to having the two people sit down facing each other, then methodically going through and asking and answering a set of 36 increasingly more intense personal questions. This experience gets the individuals to understand each other a highly personal level.
Here are some of the questions:
They start somewhat easy:
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
begin to increase in intensity:
17. What is your most treasured memory?
18. What is your most terrible memory?
19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
and continue down an emotional path:
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.
The science behind this study, is if you can honestly answer all 36 questions with this other person, you will probably share more with this one person, and them with you, then you have ever shared with any one person in your life!
So, how do you get someone to fall in love with their job?
Modify the technique and questions between an employee and their direct supervisor. The questions don’t have to all be asked at one time. Strategically, using these questions to drive frank discussions between employee and supervisor over time will get both to truly value and understand each other.
You can imagine how some of these questions would look:
1. Tell me about the job you loved the most and why?
2. What part of this job do you love doing? Hate doing?
3. Who has had the most influence in your life, to this point, and what do they do for you on a daily, weekly, monthly basis?
Here’s the deal, though. It takes two to fall in love! Your managers/leaders have to become as vulnerable as the employee. Turns out HR has very little to do with getting employees to fall in love with their job. Having strong, understanding relationships at work, have more impact than some silly HR program. But, HR could help develop this employee/leader process!
Crazy. Real conversations with employees. Truly getting to know them. Makes a difference. This isn’t your parents leadership model!
Check out all 36 questions. They could make for some really dynamic ‘date night’ conversations!