How are you?
This is the frequent ‘add-on’ to our friendly “hello” that we offer in our country, regardless of whether we know you or not. So, how are you?
Over the last few communication skills courses I’ve run, we’ve ended up discussing this ‘add-on greeting’ and some participants who originate from other countries, can be perplexed by the question. “Why do you want to know how I am? You don’t even know me.” Many times, we ask the question in passing so that we are nowhere within earshot of the person by the time they do respond. Weird right?