If You’re Not Interested In The Answer, Don’t Ask The Question - Grasshopper
How many “make conversation” questions do we ask? More importantly, how often do we tune out when getting the answer? One of the biggest impediments to communication I’ve observed is the lack of paying attention to those we interact with.
When we ask questions we already know the answer to, my experience is this: that practice is sensed by another as insincerity. Their answer will be just as impotent as the question and the only thing that’s exchanged are words passing in the night.
Start asking questions you don’t know the answer to and ask with genuine curiosity. This will take you deeper with whomever you interact with.
Sometimes we don’t ask questions because we’re afraid of what the answer will be. What we fail to realize is the answer will be the answer whether we ask or not, so all we do by not asking is stick our head in the sand and hope - always a losing combination.
My suggestion is to ask more questions and discover two things:
You’ll learn something you didn’t know or something you need to know.
Your communication skills will appreciably increase.
Here’s a tip I learned from Dr. Dave Dobson: There are two words that soften your questions so they don’t seem so pointed. The words are: Curious and Wonder.
Begin your question with one of these two words. “I wonder when you’ll be ready to discuss this important topic.” “I’m curious if you’re willing to tell me what’s bothering you.”
Bottom line: However you choose to ask questions, be invested in hearing what the answers are. It will make you a better communicator and the added bonus is this: more people will open up to you.
All the best,
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