#ThursdayThought – Two Simple Questions That Get Answers
Over the years I’ve seen many people talk about a conversation they’ve had where they have reached an impasse.
Whether it was selling an idea, gaining business, or trying to gather intel they would seem frustrated with the final answer(s) by the person they were talking to.
Invariably they walk away with “so-and-so is doing this,” or they were standing pat on an earlier decision, or “they are just not ready to listen.”
And the counter I’ve coached them is “Did you ask them ‘Why?'”.
When someone is asked why, it gives the power to the questioner and not the person giving the answer. It causes them to give an explanation and reveal more information as to their mindset.
Sometimes the person I’m teaching this to says “Yes, and they said they would rather do <other action>.”
To which I say “Did you ask them ‘How come?’ “
This creates some thinking on the person asking the questions to which I reveal the process of the alternating asking “Why?” and “How Come?”.
Each question peels away another layer of information that the person being asked might be hiding behind, or neglecting details, or being non-committal.
It opens up the talking and gets the other person starting to reveal their intentions so the questioner can get to the heart of the matter.
Whether using this to ask employees about an HR issue, in a sales pitch, or in parenting or counselling, it’s simply an effective way to keep drilling down to where the real intent lies.
Two simple questions anyone can ask that can be non-confrontational and open conversation to get results.