The art of being engaging is the art of asking compelling questions.
Learning this principle during coaching training changed the dynamic of every single one of my relationships almost instantaneously. I have been further inspired by books such as “A More Beautiful Question” by Warren Berger, as well as my interactions with friends, mentors and fellow coaches, both during my training and beyond.
Many say that the single most important skill of a coach isn’t telling people what to do, it’s asking them provocative questions that inspire them to dig deep and find the answer within. The same applies far beyond coaching.
Here are some questions to stop asking IMMEDIATELY. It doesn’t matter where you are or who you’re with. One of my visions is to play a role in this being taught in schools.
“So what do you do?”
“Where do you live?”
“Where did you go to school?”
“How do you like London/New York/[insert city you’re in]?”
“What did you have for lunch?”
Every time I hear someone asking one of these questions a small piece of my soul dies, and I redirect the conversation, as politely and quickly as possible to more fertile territory.
We’re not on this earth to have inane conversations, we’re here to inspire each other and to excel.
Here are some better questions, that will inspire far more interesting answers and deeper engagement. Ask any of these questions and you can almost see people’s neurons firing like crazy as they’re actually stimulated to dig deeper into their consciousness for a meaningful answer.
“WHY do you do what you do?”
“What’s exciting for you right now?”
“What’s your biggest lesson in life so far?”
“What did you learn from your trip to Outer Mongolia?”
“What was your favourite thing about bungee jumping off the Auckland Bridge[/insert other awesome activity you find out they’ve done]?”
“What gets you fired up?”
“What would you like to see be different in the world in 5 years?”
Questions like these will not only get your audience AND YOU more fired up, they’ll enjoy talking to you more, and they’ll want to come back for more. If you want to be magnetic in life and business, this is essential.
If you haven’t already, try it right now with someone nearby or on the phone. You’ll quickly get addicted to the results. Like anything, once you start treading the path you’ll find yourself walking it without even consciously thinking about it. But what you’ll always be conscious of is how much bigger and better the view is.