Success Depends on the Question


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May 31, 2016

This past weekend, I visited my good friend’s step-mom, and she is a master at communication. Undoubtedly, she can “win” any conversation with anyone at any time, and the other party will be happy with the outcome. Wouldn’t we all like to be this good?!?

One of the examples she used yesterday relates back to “it all depends on the question or how you position the conversation”. For example, she knew she wouldn’t be permitted to move around Russia while on a visit to see her late husband’s family etc. during the cold war; however, she wanted to go to Leningrad. Knowing if she went to the police/ government office to get her passport for this plan that she’d be turned away, she thought about how to phrase and position her request. Of course, she was successful. I can’t tell you how many stories she has told about how positioning the conversation made an impossible situation “work”.

In thinking about this, do you think you should put extra thought into how you ask questions or position conversations? Do you get the result you desire – every time? I have yet to meet someone with 100% success; thus, it seems utilizing this 95 year old’s wisdom might be a good idea.

One tip to implement this week:
The great news about this topic is that you can make progress over time. Start by thinking before you speak. Everyone can do that immediately. Think about what you want the outcome of your conversation to be.

This simple step alone can be monumental. Once you know what you’d like to accomplish, think about how you can ask the question so that you move in the direction you’d like to go. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.