Replace ‘How Are You?’

Whitmore recommends going beyond the simple “How are you?” to ask open-ended questions that warrant more than a one-word response.

The phrase she likes most: “Tell me.” (Some examples: “Tell me about your weekend” or “Tell me, how did the two of you meet?”)

It’s a simple enough change, but it lets people know you’re tuned in – and it can lead to a more exciting chat overall. “Anytime you start a sentence with ‘tell me,’ it launches into scintillating conversation,” she says.