I have learned to talk less and instead ask powerful questions. When I was in the corporate world, I realized quickly that I could not compete with those who spoke in corporate lingo. You know, those who say a whole bunch and sound smart but really they are saying nothing. It always seemed to me that people listened to them. It totally frustrated me, because many times I knew they were full of hot air. Then, one day in a meeting, I popped a question out of frustration which led me to an epiphany. I could control the conversation with simple questions. I spoke little and got just what I wanted.
I often find myself teaching people to ask questions. And, I have been told those questions have opened up doors, pierced to the core of strategies, and increased peoples salaries. So in today’s podcast, I wanted to share with you some of these questions and hopefully find interesting ways you have used them.
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Powerful Questions that Generate Powerful Results
Here are the questions. In the podcast I will provide examples of how I have seen these used.
1. Finding Opportunity – This simple question asked to the right person can open up the doors to money and opportunity.
“What keeps you awake at night?”
2. Finding Your Level of Ignorance – I like to call this “questions someone to their level of ignorance.” This is the question I was discussing in the opening. When people are rattling off great wisdom, ask for details and keep digging deeper. The situation might call for various forms of the question, but when I asked it in the corporate meeting I asked it this way.
”How does that work?”
3. Broaden Your View – When you are telling someone what you are working on or thinking about, ask them this question:
“What else should I consider?”
4. Finding Threats – This question you might have to ask of yourself – and I recommend you ask it now and often. There is an answer, something is destroying your career and your job today. You just need to ask until you find it. (More on this topic in Episode 004-Disruptive Innovation)
“What will displace me?”
5. Value Add – Find out what you do that serves other people, especially your boss, with value. Over and over I have seen this question, and the conversation it generates – increase a persons value and income. (More on this topic in Episode 29 – How to Determine Your Value at Work)
“What do I do that adds the most value?”
6. Grow Your Career – I love this question because people in the corporate world are almost afraid to ask it.
“How do I double my income?”
7. Strategic Perspective – When in the middle of planning or thinking about what you do, ask this question. If the answer is no, you have just defined a future direction.
“If we were to start over from scratch, would we do this again?”
Question: How have you used these questions to change the conversation? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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