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3 Compelling Reasons To Kickstart any Conversation or Meeting With The High/Low Question

Whether you are a small group leader, family member or a corporate executive the high/low question is a great way to start a conversation or a meeting.

First off: what is the high/low question. It’s super simple. “What’s a high and low for you recently?” It can pertain to the personal or professional and be from recently or since last time you were together.

There are three compelling reasons this works especially well for groups including families, teams, small groups or committees.

Reason 1: Everyone gets a voice.

It can be difficult for people who are not extroverted to find a place in the conversation to share their thoughts about whatever the topic is. In larger groups, I am less likely to speak out unless asked and often see others who feel the same way. They lean back in their seats and observe the show as others carry the conversation. 

Having an expectation that everyone will share gives those less forward a voice in the midst of it all. This is especially important in groups where there are people who find conversation easy. They literally think they are doing the group a favor when they fill the airtime and on occasion perhaps they are, but having a clear protocol that not only allows but encourages each person to share makes for a richer connection.

Pro-tip: Some people, like my husband, prefer to do their low first and end on their high note, it just doesn’t sound catchy to me to say low/high, but it’s likely a good practice. So go ahead. Next time you want to build relationship, camaraderie or awareness try the high/low question. And let me know how it goes.

Reason 2: Some people only have highs.

We all know someone who only shares their highs. It seems like life is just peachy for them all the time. I guess that is possible, but likely there is something else going on. Some people don’t like to share that they are dealing with anything difficult. Either they feel they shouldn’t talk about it or focus on it, or they have pushed it down entirely so they are not even aware of it.

Sharing our real-life struggles:

  • bonds us with the people we share them with.
  • lessens the burden of keeping things hidden.
  • shares the load of our difficulty as other’s care about us.
  • may bring awareness of repressed angst.

So sharing lows offers an opportunity for vulnerability and authenticity. 

Reason 3: Some people only have lows.

Without the high/low ask some people would just go on and on about their low(s). Needing to choose a high to share is a wonderful perspective shifter. Even if things have been going well of late, having to pick one thing to share reminds us of all the good that is happening.

Sometimes it’s easy to call out the spot on the wall rather than be grateful the wall is intact.

Intentionally looking at all that is well in our lives and choosing one thing to share builds a culture of celebration and connection with God’s goodness.

Pro-tip: Have one person start the sharing and then have them choose the next person randomly rather than going around the circle. This keeps everyone on their toes. And people love to be chosen.

So, whether your circle is big or small; in a family, a conference room or even a café, the high/low question can take the connection deeper.

I’d love to hear how it goes for you and where you use it!

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