When Nancy and I lived in Dallas (We now live in Prosper), we were regulars at a Starbucks. We became regulars in part because the baristas knew us.

They remembered my name, what I normally ordered, Nancy’s name and that she was a competitive golfer, that I am a Virginia Tech grad and frequently went back to Blacksburg for football games, and that I worked with lawyers and traveled frequently.

How did they know all this about me?

It was pretty simple. They asked good open-ended questions and then they actively listened to my answers. Here are some questions the baristas asked at Starbucks:

  • What are your plans for the weekend or what did you do over the weekend?
  • Where have you been?
  • What have you got going today?

The people who worked at our favorite Starbucks built a relationship with me by paying close attention to me. They demonstrated they cared by asking good questions and listening.

If you are like me, you are looking for sample open ended questions. Here are a few things to read:



  • Tricia

    I enjoyed your last two posts about how we should ask open-ended questions and listen more to our clients just like the Starbucks baristas do. I worked at Starbucks for 3 years while in law school and loved my job there. Starbucks wants to hire people who take pride in their work and care about the customers. Thanks for reminding me that I need to continue to develop these same values as a lawyer.

  • Cordell Parvin

    Tricia, Thank you for commenting. I bet lawyers would be more comfortable striking up these conversations as Starbucks Baristas. At Starbucks, the Baristas are truly interested in getting to know their regular customers. As lawyers we should be as interested in getting to know our clients.