“Ask stupid questions, get stupid answers.”
Or at least that’s what we’ve been told.
Why not “Ask better questions, get better answers?” It’s got the glass-half-full ring to it and provides us the opportunity to dive deeper in our relationships, conversations and learning.
If you ask better questions to potential employees, you get better employees.
If you ask better questions during a job interview, you get a better job experience and more learning or promotional opportunities.
If you ask better questions when you’re dating, you get better partners.
Asking questions to ensure or communicate that you’re still listening and on the same track is imperative in live videos, webinars and communications. Don’t just say you’re listening or give a false job as a hope to keep busy…you can offer real understand and valuable help if your communication is clear and accurate.
Another reason to ask better questions is avoiding group think. Group think is when you’re in a group of people, maybe a team meeting, and you’re trying to solve a problem. But you can’t seem to come up with any different solutions. It’s the feeling of knowing something isn’t right but there’s a tall, wide and thick brick wall just covering up what’s on the other side.
When you stay silent you become part of the group and don’t avoid being the ‘odd one out’ by providing a different answer. When you ask the same questions, you get the same answers. Ask something different, to a different person and you’ll get a different answer.
What you WANT to hear and what you NEED to hear might be different. Try asking the question that provides the answer you haven’t yet, or don’t, want to hear. Be original. Don’t just repeat the same thing to every person. By tailoring your conversation and paying special attention to what the person in front of you is saying to you, you’re able to ask because you’re curious not just because you’re nosy.
Show that you’re actually paying attention by elaborating on the last thing they said and translate the fact that you were actually there with them, listening to them.
Try this perspective out…It’s not always YOU that has to change.
It’s the other person that needs to better understand you.
That’s your job to communicate.
If you can’t effectively speak, write or communicate yourself (or your message) in the correct order then you’re identifying a weakness. By merging your best skills and strengths you can truly influence and solve a problem.
When you speak you’re always standing up and speaking to others. People are looking for that sign and encouragement of being with you. They’ll validate you externally or in a secondary action but you can’t improve your personal development if you’re not getting personal with your topics and audience.
If you’re a millennial reading this you have to understand we have the most valuable thing on our side right now: TIME. Don’t waste that by asking and learning the same thing everyone else is or is telling you what you should do. Branch out, be original, think for yourself and ask everyone you meet better questions.
A phone call is always free. If you’re curious about how digital marketing and creating a brand could help you, I’d love to talk.
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