The most valuable skill anyone can develop for connecting with people is how to ask the right questions at the right time, in the right way. Questions are the core of selling, customer service, diagnostics and conversation. Mastering this skill will take you a long way on your path to success.
When it comes to creating stronger bonds with friends, acquaintances or coworkers, here are three great questions you should have in your toolbox:
“What can I do to help?” (When someone is experiencing difficulty)
Note that there is no opportunity for the other person to say no. This question, worded in this open-ended format, sends the message, ‘I’m not just trying to be polite, I genuinely want to help you.’
“What do you think?” (When you are faced with a choice)
People like to be heard. This question sends the message that you respect them and their opinions.
“Why do you think that?” (When someone offers an opinion)
This question gives the other person the opportunity to expand on their personal beliefs. They will appreciate it, and you will learn from it.
Make a point to try each of these questions at least once this week, and see for yourself how positively people respond. There is no greater social currency than the willingness to show a genuine and sincere interest in other people.