While many of us may be good at following orders, most people don’t relish being told what to do. Thankfully, there is a useful communication tool that can help people feel self-sufficient and respected: the dynamic created by asking a question.
Instead of making a demand, consider approaching people with a question that requires their opinion or input. Doing so may increase the likelihood they’ll feel their judgment is respected and they are a participant, rather than someone following instructions.
Take a look at these two instances where a question can help bring people to your side:
- Inclusive Leadership: If you are a team leader and realize you need a team member to follow a particular strategy, your first impulse may be to say, “Mark, this is what you should do…” Instead, however, if you approach the member with “Should we try (input your idea here)? What do you think?” they are given the opportunity to provide their input and, as a result, they are more likely to listen to your side.
- Helpful Questions: Imagine you’re meeting with a prospect. As confident as you feel about your product and service, do not push a message of “this is what you need, so buy now.” Rather, after you have made your introduction, pose questions to your prospect. Find out what they think they need, as well as what they think of your product. Asking questions shows you want to provide answers and solutions. This makes the prospect feel they are leading the meeting, rather than being pushed or pressured.
Even if you are confident you hold the answer, pose questions. This will often bring your peers and colleagues to think of their own solutions, which frequently align with your perspective. Strategic communication is vital not just to professional growth, but to our interpersonal happiness as well. Take time to ask questions that engage others, and always listen.
To learn more ways to improve your professional life, visit the Syncis blog at https://www.syncis.com/blog/.