What sort of questions can you ask a colleague about their personal life?

Someone recently started working at my workplace, and she told me a little bit of her background including the fact that her son is sick and has had a transplant. Is it appropriate to ask how her son is doing every so often, or should I just let her talk when she wants? I’ve only met her once but she did disclose quite a bit already.

Answer #1

If she was open about the fact, depending on her mood, it should be okay. Really, if she felt open enough to just out with it on the first time you met her, just asking her how things are going, not how she is, but how things are going, should bring that out if she wants to talk about it. That way, you’re not specifically forcing the subject, but she has the freedom to talk about it. If you’re genuinely interested, she’ll be able to tell, and she won’t go with the generic, “Everything’s good,” answer.

Answer #2

Well seeing how u don’t know them well and she seems to be open I wudnt be afraid to ask anything really, ask what she does for fun, where she goes when not at work, is she involved with any organizations, and yes for the last question it fine to ask about her son, especially if you guys end up being better friends, I think you will kno what is appropriate to ask as time goes on

Answer #3

Start with what their hobbies are…

Answer #4

I think it all depends on the relationship you have with your colleague and how comfortable they feel with you. The fact that your colleague did go into depth about her son and his sickness does suggest that she is comfortable talking to you about him to some degree. It also suggests that she’d be okay with you asking about him, in my opinion.

I’d say to go half on it. Ask her every now and then, but also give her a chance to come to you. Asking her will let her know that you care, which in my opinion is a very great door opener to more disclosure and talking.

Answer #5

Well seeing as she was that open with a stranger (you) to begin with, suggests that she is either very comfortable talking about it, or that she needs somebody to talk to. I would casually ask how her son is doing and just have a chat with her. She’s either just a really open, chatty person, or somebody that needs a friend to talk to.

Answer #6

I agree with this. Asking how he is isn’t really prying at all. It just shoes that you care.

Answer #7


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