Asking powerful questions can change the course of a conversation with amazing results. When people feel important enough to be listened to they feel connected, they are more likely to be fully engaged with you, and appreciate the experience.
You hold a lot of power and influence in how you chose to engage others. Perfecting the art and skill of asking powerful questions will benefit your personal and professional life. Take a few extra minutes to craft your powerful questions and change relationships and outcomes.
These are more examples of powerful questions that leaders and executives can use to help motivate and influence their people.
In Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others (Wiley, 2012), consultants Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas present more than 200 significant questions, along with stories about how to use them.
Of the 200 questions, it’s hard to choose, but these are a couple of favorites that are effective.
“How did you get started?”
Ask people how they got their first job, why they decided to go into a particular field or what they like about their field. Background questions provide a better understanding of what they value, what is important to them or their frame of reference. Everyone has a story – unless you ask, you’re missing key pieces of the human puzzle.
“How can I assist you in doing your very best?”
You would be surprised at how many people actually appreciate it when you encourage them to do better. Instead of accepting their first efforts, encouraging them to stretch. You are not serving them by standing back and letting them coast. Call attention to their strengths, lift them up and suggest that they are capable of doing more. Do not let mediocrity or convenience replace stretch goals.
Peter Drucker’s Five Magic Questions
Management guru Peter Drucker posed five questions to his corpo
rate and organizational clients, which can be applied to your personal and professional life:
- What is your mission?
- Which are the most important relationships you want to invest in?
- What are the essential priorities and goals of those closest to you?
- What are your expectations of the people around you, and what do they expect of you?
- What is your plan?
Use these and other powerful questions to add meaning and impact to your conversations. You will be surprised at the stories that unfold, people’s responsiveness to you and the deepening of your relationships.
I really do think there is magic in asking powerful question at the right time. I would love to hear about the questions you ask when you want to get to know and understand someone better. Please leave me a comment.