Kathleen & Don Thoren, Guest Author
Has someone said something and you weren’t sure what to say back? Seconds tick by and your mind screams, “What do I say now?!” or “Why did I say that?!”
The beauty of this neutral comment is that it turns the conversation back to the other person and…
1. Gives you a chance to think
2. Gives you an immediate response, but you haven’t really said anything or expressed an opinion yet.
3. Gives you a chance to change the way you are listening from a JUDGE OF what was said to an INVESTIGATOR INTO what they meant.
It’s best to ask questions to gain understanding when you are not sure how to respond. However, avoid the “why” question, as it is often received as argumentative. Now, you have your best chance of feeling comfortable with what you say back.
Next… begin investigating for greater understanding.
Here are “FOUR INVESTIGATIVE QUESTIONS” to use. Good questioning techniques save time and improve communication satisfaction.
Opening Questions – These questions cannot be answered with a yes or no. They start with who, what, when, where, and how. Don’t use “why”. Asking these starts the other person talking allowing you to gain clarity.
Encouraging Questions – These questions sound like… “is there more?…and then what?…uh huh?”…with non-verbal nodding. These encourage the person to provide additional information and feelings so you gain a fuller understanding.
Checking Questions – These questions can be answered ‘yes or no’. You are seeking verification about what you think you heard before moving to a conclusion, action step, or completion of the conversation.
Commitment Seeking Questions – This are designed to get a definite “yes” or “no” response. Examples are: will you? do you? should we?
Copyright © 2013 – Kathleen & Don Thoren. Don Thoren helps organizations and people explore their future “could be” and develop plans and skills in its pursuit. Don has been a professional speaker for more than 30 years. He is a member of National Speakers Association and the “Speaker Hall of Fame.” Contact Don Thoren at the Thoren Group in Tempe, AZ.
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