Getting what you want out of asking the right questions.
How’s your day?
What response do you generally get from that question?
“Fine” “Good” “Ok”
Now, what if I asked you:
What did you have for lunch?
See, a bit different.
The person will tell you about their salad and then how the waiter was super nice. Then that can escalate into a deeper conversation about hobbies, etc…
The point I’ve realized lately is that just by tweaking my questions I can get so much better responses.
Think of it like your next meal, which question is easier to answer:
- What do you want to eat?
- How do you feel about eating at that Japanese place for lunch?
Of course the second one is easier. The real thing though is WHY???
People are already going through 1000s of decisions everyday. What’s for breakfast, what am I going to wear today, why isn’t the heater working, etc…
If you can ask questions that reduce thinking and make thinking EASIER for others you’ll get better responses to what you ask.
Here’s a recent one I improved while buying a car:
Original: Is there a warranty included?
Improved: What is the warranty of the car?
Notice the difference. Instead of hoping there may or may not be a warranty I’m assuming there is a warranty for getting the car.
As well, some questions don’t add any value to you or the person responding. Such as:
- Ever ask someone who has a broken leg, oh did you hurt yourself?
- Ever notice that you say, really, after someone said their statement. What, they are going to change it again now.
- Ever say to someone, why are you upset? They say they aren’t but it puts them in a defensive mode.
So why bother asking them? Great question! Don’t!
Here’s more examples:
Original: Do you need help with anything?
This questions response is more a yes / no from the person.
Improved: What can I help with?
This is saying you will help and the question is more about, what specifically. It helps the recipient pinpoint something for you to do vs considering if they want you involved in the first place.
Aggressive: Should I stop doing this?
I like this. Instead of hoping they have something, start and ask for forgiveness
Next time you are asking questions:
1- Do you really want / care to know the answer?
2- How can you reframe it so you get a better response?
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