Motivation for Asking Better Questions
Have you ever looked across the room and saw someone you’d like to be talking to thoroughly enjoying their conversation with someone else and wonder what they’re talking about?
This week’s blog is in response to Gregg Salkovitch’s request on my Facebook survey. Here’s what Gregg had to say:
“I’d like to hear more about the importance of asking good creative questions and what types of questions to ask. When I meet new people it seems like the same questions are asked and answered…what do you do for a living, where do you live, etc. Thanks Joe.”
Hope this one hits the nail on the head Gregg! Thanks to Gregg and all my blog followers (if you’re reading this that means you) who take time out of your busy days to read my blog. I really do appreciate it!
What would you have to feel after reading this post to share my blog on your Facebook, LinkedIn, and/or Twitter page? If you feel it please pay it forward because someone else will feel it too
Here are my keys to asking better questions.
Motivation to ask questions:
- To learn something about the other person and get to know them better
- To keep them engaged in the conversation
- To keep the conversation flowing
- To find out the needs, wants, desires of the person so you can find a way to help them
So how do we ask and structure good “not boring” questions?
Here are a few simple guidelines:
- Avoid questions someone has been asked over and over (yawn, BORING!)
- Ask questions they will enjoy answering that invoke positive emotions
- Ask questions that require answers beyond a simple “YES” or “NO” to allow them to elaborate, keep conversation flowing and avoid awkward dead ends.
- Ask questions to show you have been listening to what they have been talking about.
- Be direct whenever possible.
- Humor is everyone’s friend.
- This is not a CNN interview – do not pepper them with question after question. Ideally the questions will generate free flowing back and forth conversation. If not, go back to the drawing board.
- Pick out a few questions you are comfortable asking people in various different social and business situations. Even better is to do your homework on the specific person you would like to talk to. Go the extra mile.
- Make eye contact, smile and speak with confidence.
- Focus and improve on the delivery – which means perfecting your pauses, voice inflection, rate of speech.
Here are a couple of my favorite questions:
- How would you rate ________________ (your day, customer service, our relationship….etc) on a scale of 1-10? (Assuming the answer is anything less than a 10, immediately ask question #2 as a follow up)
- What would it take to make it a 10?
- Where is your favorite place you’ve ever visited?
- What is the highlight of your day today?
- Just so I understand you correctly, what you’re saying is________________? (Paraphrase what they said to you)
- What do you see as the biggest opportunity in your industry right now?
- What are you most passionate about?
- If you woke up with a valid check for $10m tomorrow what would you do? And then what?
- How can I help you reach your goals?
“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” Tony Robbins
How would you rate this blog on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best)?
What would it take to make it a 10 in your book?
- How to Win Friends and Influence People, By Dale Carnegie
- Networking is a Contact Sport, By Joe Sweeney (my uncle)
- The Aladdin Factor by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
Until next week. More energy! More focus! Let’s make this the best week of the year!