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Asking good, effective questions is a powerful but little known tool to get the most helpful information, facilitate learning and improve interpersonal bonding.
In many cases, asking the right questions depends on complex dynamics and type of interaction, but there are some general guidelines that can commonly be applied to the conversation.
Being a good listener is timeless advice, and it has been eighty years since Dale Carnegie mentioned being a good listener in his classic ‘How To Win Friends And Influence People’.
The advice is still rock solid, telling us to listen with intent while asking interesting questions that the other person would love to answer.
We often interrupt an ongoing conversation and say what comes in our mind, and have to be mindful of that.
Statements can also be detrimental to our purpose of building a relationship. It is better to end the sentence with a question and let the other person speak.
Works are like keys that can lock or unlock minds. Use a neutral tone combined with the right words, avoiding conflicting or loaded ones.
It is also a good idea to keep the questions open-ended. Closed-ended questions often sound loaded or biased to the interlocutor.
Random questions should be avoided, and a hierarchy should be built that follows general questions with specific ones while asking only one thing at a time.
It helps to use the new information that you get from an answer to frame your next question, creating a natural flow.
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Emotions are useful tools while taking a decision, when utilized in the right way. The three components of our emotional experience are:
Emotions are not a disposable or unnecessary response, but are signals, giving us vital clues about the state of our mind and body, akin to pain. It is a neglected part of our survival mechanism.
Our natural reaction is to suppress our emotions, but it is increasingly apparent that repression of our emotions, especially the stronger kind, is psychologically and physically harmful to us.
Showing emotion using empathetic and active listening is part of emotional intelligence and is greatly valued as a managerial skill set.
Studies show that empathic leaders enjoy more success and goodwill. Interpersonal communication is greatly enhanced when one is able to read someone's emotions and control one’s emotional reactions.
The idea of being a good listener is almost a cliche. Yet, most of us are terrible at it.
Becoming a good listener is not that difficult if you know where to start and are ...
Our ability to solve problems is helpful in life, but it is the wrong thing to do in situations when people simply want to be heard, understood, and feel connected.
When someone is scared, angry, depressed, or just upset, they don't want to feel like something is wrong with them. When you give unsolicited advice to someone who is struggling, you make them feel like a problem. Give advice when someone asks for it, otherwise, hold off on your wisdom and instead focus on being present.
Being a good listener is not about getting the facts about what made them upset. It is to be supportive, offer encouragement, and empathize.
Ask open-ended questions to communicate that you're interested in them. Avoid questions beginning with 'Why' and use 'What' or 'How' instead. Generic open-ended questions that work well are: