Whenever I have a chance to speak with people from another country, I consider myself lucky. I may never have a chance to visit, so if allowed, I question extensively to learn as much as possible.
In social settings, the emphasis is on questioning and then repeating the other person. Of course, not every word verbatim, but a main or interesting aspect of the answer. This may lead to other questions, discovery of common interests, business deals, etc. Repetition shows that you are listening instead of just hearing.
So, how does this listen/repeat help me get a date with the lady from my building? Maybe, if I sit with her during lunch, if allowed, and simply talk with her. Instead of outright asking for an afternoon at a local downtown event followed by dinner and nice conversation would be a good beginning.
I could ask about the projects she’s working on, those that took her away from the project we’d been assigned. Surely something would strike an interest.
So, more homework for you. This next week, in conversation, question and repeat and report back.