Never ask this question

How was your trip in? How was your flight? How were the lines at the airport? Did you pass through security quickly? How comfortable were you in the middle seat for your five-hour flight?

I mean no disrespect to our airline friends, as they do the best job they possibly can, but what about a journey to a destination is going to be flawless, even from a driving perspective? How was the traffic? How were the directions on your mobile phone? How was your visibility through your windshield with the rain?

In the best-case scenarios, any journey in would be uneventful and not worth speaking about anyway. Try asking instead, what brings you to this area? Are you here for business or pleasure? The weather here has been beautiful — do you have any plans to enjoy being outside?

The answers to these questions are sure to bring about more positive answers and will help set the tone for a more enjoyable visit.

MPD: Ask questions that will bring about positive responses.