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The Surprising Power of Questions
Asking the right questions can get you the answers and information that you need. However, it’s often forgotten how big of a role questioning plays in our everyday interactions. Rather it’s a conversation with your parents or with a potential client, questioning helps build the foundation of our personal and business relationships.
Get The Information You Are Looking for
The best way to get the information you are looking for is to ask for the information you seek. Questioning can help build an ongoing rapport that makes people more comfortable sharing information and ideas. This creates an environment where the exchange of ideas and information becomes regular.
The more comfortable we are with someone, the more likely we are to share information. Asking the right questions at the right time can help establish the trust necessary for information to be exchanged. That’s why important to know the information you’re looking for before opening up a dialogue.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
Sometimes the answers you’re looking for go beyond a simple yes or no. Knowing when to keep questions open-ended is a critical skill when it comes to questioning. The right open-ended question can help find hidden, unexpected answers that weren’t thought of before.
However, it’s also important to know when an open-ended question is less optimal. Sometimes the answers you need are either yes or no and in a negotiation, an open-ended question could lead to the other party keeping their cards close to their chest. It’s important to try and map out your conversation before you have it to try and decide what questions should be open-ended.
Know What to Ask and When to Ask it
Sequencing is one of the most important aspects of question asking. The optimal order of your questions greatly depends on the type of conversation you’re having. Studies have shown that during tense encounters, your conversational partner is more willing to open up if asked the tough questions first.
If you are trying to build a trusting relationship, your sequencing should have the opposite approach. Asking easy questions first can help build trust, making your partner more likely to open up to more difficult questions later on. It’s important to know the type of conversation you’re having so you can gauge when to ask the right questions.
Questions are one of the most important pieces in conversations. An environment that encourages questioning also encourages an active flow of ideas and information. Know when and how to ask the right questions and you could hold the power in conversation.
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