We’ve all heard the phrase “Curiosity killed the cat,” but I don’t know that I’ve ever heard WHY! Ok, I supposed that wasn’t a very good joke… However, that WHY can often be the most important thing to figure out. In fact, one style of root-cause analysis is almost completely based on asking just that; it’s referred to as a 5-WHY Analysis. And as painful as that process can be, it’s geared at getting past the initial easy answer to what caused an issue.
In Good Leaders Ask Great Questions, John focused the brief fifth section of chapter one, “Questions Help You to Engage Others in Conversation,” on how we can intentionally use questions to learn more about the people we’re working with. He quotes talk show host Larry King as saying “I’m curious about everything, and if I’m at a cocktail party, I often ask my favorite question: “Why?” John goes on to reference how Larry King uses that word more than ANY other on his television show.
John continues by sharing his process for asking the right questions. He says “Whenever I am preparing for a meeting with someone, I spend time determining what questions I want to ask. I do this because I want to make the most of the time I have, but I also do it to engage with the other person.”
How much thought, effort, or time do you put into determining the questions you want to ask when you have the opportunity to spend time with someone? For most people, I would guess that amount of time is fairly low, if it happens at all. But think about how valuable this could be, even in some of the most casual situations. What if you can have a few questions to ask in any situation that would not only help you be more effective in engaging that person in conversation and developing an even better relationship, but these questions helped you determine how you could relate to them in their own language based on their view of the world?
What if… Well, it can be just that simple! if you take advantage of registering for one of the few seats left in Piecing Together Your People Puzzles on April 27, you will leave the session with the tools that can help you quickly identify that language AND have a starting point on how to tailor your communication with that person.
I’ve often heard it said that there are only two things you can control in life: your ATTITUDE and your ACTIONS. This will give you a starting point at understanding the ATTITUDE part and a definite head start on the ACTION you can take.
Have a great weekend,