Lisa Mitchell, communications expert & founder of Power Body Language joined us today with three key questions you can ask during a conversation to help make it more productive:
1. The Opener: What’s On Your Mind?
This question is a great way to open the door for people to tell you what direction they want or expect the interaction to go in. It gives someone the chance to tell you what they consider most important or a priority when kicking off a conversation.
2. The Follow Up: And What Else?
When a person gives you an answer or shares an idea with you, asking “and what else?” afterwards encourages them to keep talking, providing you with more helpful information and context to keep the conversation moving in a productive direction. It almost obligates the person to keep sharing, which benefits you both in working with more data points as opposed to fewer.
3. What Would Be Most Useful/Helpful To You Right Now?
Asking someone “What would be most helpful to you right now?” especially if they’ve shared a challenge or problem with you is a great way to help them start solving their own problem and giving you an indication of what their expectation is of you. The most frustrating thing for both of you is when you make an assumption and start solving the wrong problem.
By opening up the question to them, you’re letting them provide greater clarity around what they actually need or want instead of just jumping in with ideas or solutions that may miss the mark.
Asking good questions provides you with greater clarity and better data to navigate a conversation in the most productive way. Good questions reduce confusion and lower frustration, not to mention that they also help you look clued in and emotionally intelligent as well!