We all have a desire for connection. We want to go beyond the superficial. However, sometimes it is hard to know where to begin. Especially if you are with relatively new friends, or hosting a dinner party where there are differing levels of relationships.
I don’t think anyone truly enjoys small talk
I hate small talk. I love real conversation. I love to share hearts, dreams or vision with people. Especially over dinner where we have time to sit, enjoy food, sometimes wine, and talk.
Mark and I love deep conversation so much that we have developed a series of games that you can play around the dinner table. Some of these we have inherited from others too. This helps to facilitate and set the quality of conversation a little more. It can work as an icebreaker in dinners where you are only getting to know each other. Or with friends who know each other well, and it can create ways to go into people’s hearts and lives. We have found these games lead organically into beautiful conversation, connections and moments.
Let me share a few of our favourite games we play around the dinner table. Usually we go around the table and each person takes a turn.
Let The Games Begin
- Everyone share one memory, habit or story about yourself that that nobody else present at the table would know about you.
This is a great icebreaker. Especially if people at the table do not know each other very well than it is a great one to start with. It is surprising what can come out. At times mildly alarming. However usually always entertaining. This can also be played if you know the people well. For it is surprising what you learn from those who you know really well.
- Rose, Thorn, Bud.
I learned this from a friend names Taryn and it has become a Greenwood favourite. This is how it works. Everyone shares a rose, thorn and bud.
Rose: One thing, person or event in their life that has been a blessing or given them hope recently.
Thorn: everyone shares one thing in their life that they are currently finding quite challenging.
Bud: Everyone shares something in their life that they are looking forward to.
This is one of our absolute favourites. I love this one. We have had dinners where this has been the only game we played because it leads to such deep conversation.
- In a year from now my favourite memory was…
This game is when you pretend you are one year in advance and you speak of a memory as though it has already happened. Usually you state something you really want to see in your life happening that year. You frame it up as best case scenario of something that you are believing and working for.
For example if I were playing I might say
“In 2020, I looked back over my year and my E-Books were best sellers and gained international success. I also completed the rough draft for a book and got a well know publisher offering to publish me.”
- Everyone gives one quality about the person on their right that they admire and aspire to have more of in their own lives.
This is actually my favourite one. I love this. It always deeply touches, blessed and affirms everyone in your home. Nobody gets left out.
An example would be if Mark was to my right.
“A quality about Mark that I admire is his ability to listen deeply. He listens to understand. He looks into your eyes and locks in. I would like more of that in my life because when he listens to me I know he truly hears and seeks to understand me. It makes me feel deeply loved and cherished. The way he does this challenges me. For when people are talking to me I often am already thinking of what to say back, or can be distracted by other things in the room. Knowing how loved and validated I feel when he listens deeply to me makes me want to develop that attribute more in my life. I also want to listen to understand so that others can also feel loved, validated and understood when they talk to me the way I feel when I talk to Mark.”
- What is the one thing that has consistently consumed your thoughts over the last seven days.
This is a great one to play especially for people who know each other. Helps to gauge where everyone is at and what are the current things in their lives.
- What is your favourite memory of the past year.
Sometimes people (my mum) have trouble with this one. They instead want to share every memory that they can remember from the year. We can be kind and let those super keen people share two memories.
- What is changing your life right now.
This is a question that originated from Brene Brown that Jen Hatmaker asks every guest on her podcast. Guests can answer as deeply or as superficially as they want. It is fascinating the responses people give. They can be as simple as, “my new headphones”, “my new massage chair”, a certain podcast, a book, or a person…
An example for me right now is the Pod cast from Shawn Bolz “Exploring the Prophetic.” This is a podcast about outstanding people who have applied the prophetic to their everyday life. In business, in ministry, in their creative outlet. In all spheres. As hey have stepped out in faith they have seen the most incredible things. At a time where I have just made a drastic decision to resign from my fabulous job which I loved, to pursue the dreams God has put on my heart, it helps give me the courage that I need to stand in faith at this time .
So there you have it
Our favourite seven ways to build connection and create quality conversation. You can play them at dinners, or even at business or church meetings, work retreats, within families or on your dates. I promise they will open a whole world of deep conversation and connection.
Your welcome in advance.
Please write in and tell me how you used it!
In other news. My Marriage book comes out SOON. Get excited people!
Until next time,
You are deeply loved and richly cherished,
The Healthy Hiccup