Receptionist tip: responding to "how are you?"
Photo via Flickr Creative Commons

How often have you had this exchange: “Hi! How are you?” “Good. How are you?” “Good.” …Cue the crickets. Our responses are habit, small courtesies that pass our lips without a thought as to why we’re saying it in the first place. The next time someone asks how you’re doing, disrupt these tired expressions in favor of sparking a meaningful conversation!

Phoebe recently shared how to breathe positivity into every conversation, including a list of effusive modifiers and phrases. Well, the same enthusiastic strategy can help turn your responses to “How are you?” from canned to curious.

Instead of a meaningless “Good” (or its more grammatically correct cousin, “Well”), try saying:


The other party will likely be surprised and ask what put you in such a good mood!

If you find yourself uttering a knee-jerk “Good!” anyway (it’s a hard habit to break!), follow up with a bit more info. Even a comment about the weather can be refreshing once you’ve put a positive spin on it: “I’m doing well! The sun is shining — not something we get a lot of here in Portland!” I’ve heard our GM say something to that effect several times, and it never ceases to get the conversation rolling.

Looking for more ways to connect with callers? Read these other tips from our Training Creator!

Photo via Flickr user Derek Key