If the intention of your communication is to influence, and if the skilful use of questions is one of the most effective ways to persuade somebody to do something you would like them to do, then it is critical to become an expert in the art and science of asking great questions.
Here’s a couple of tips on how to excel in this key area.
Let’s have a brief chat about the power of emotion.
The simple truth lies in the fact that people are persuaded much more readily through emotion compared with their response when presented with facts alone.
In fact, when something out of the blue occurs we do not stop to think how we feel, we simply react emotionally.
And this happens in the blink of an eye.
Now to use the power of emotion when you ask questions you must first understand what it is the person you are communicating with is truly seeking.
Tied to this is the emotion you want to touch upon to lead a person to the desired target.
Let’s look at one simple way that can help when you wish to do this.
Use the feel, felt, found technique.
Another useful tip seems rather unfair, but does take advantage of the inability of people to blame themselves when something goes wrong.
The natural, normal impulse is to find somebody else to point the finger at.
This tendency can be used by you when you are asking questions.
Go ahead and suggest you know they would have done it differently before influencing them to follow your suggestions to remedy the situation, or to get a much better result next time.
Rhetorical questions can help with this.
The magic bullet with questions is to always make sure you generate a feeling of absolute certainty in the person you are communicating with.
Once a person feels a strong sense of certainty they will follow you.
Again, keep in mind the importance of how you ask a question.
Mastering the timing using the right tonality is absolutely essential.
Think about the quality of your questions, whether you tend to ask open or closed questions, and start to prepare the questions you would like to ask and the feelings you want to generate before you attend a meeting of consequence.
Prevention is far better than cure and is a lot less expensive!
So, be well prepared, with a chain of questions, build strong rapport and get the outcome that you want.