maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question.

W.I.N. Wednesday: A powerful way to persuade people?

"The best way to persuade people is with your ears – by listening to them."

Dean Rusk

I am a huge advocate of the power of questions. I believe that questions are the path to growth. Questions are how we learn. Questions are the key to leadership. 

We need to ask questions of ourselves and we need to ask questions of other people. 

Questions however are only of value if you are going to pause and listen to the answer. 

Take the simple question you ask numerous times every day, "How are you?" How often do you pause to listen to the answer? How often do you ask follow up questions when the answer indicates the person is feeling down or struggling? Most people use that question as a statement, a greeting, and not a question.

Too often when we claim we are listening we are actually formulating our answer to what they are saying or thinking about something on our to do list rather than listening to the answer. When you listen make sure you listen for the underlying feelings and emotions and not just the words. When you are in face to face conversations also pay attention to the person’s body language. A response of, "I’m ok?", can be said in a number of ways and have a number of very different meanings. 

People want to feel valued. They want to feel like they are making a contribution. The best way to accomplish both those items is to ask great questions, listen to the answers then keep asking questions to peel away the layers and get deeper into the conversation. Seek to be interested, not interesting. If people feel they are being listened to they will usually feel valued and that they are contributing. You do not have to agree on the best solution or the best way to proceed. If people feel they have been heard however, they are more willing to be supportive of the ultimate decision. 

What's Important Now? Develop the skill of listening and take the time to listen. You might be surprised what you learn. 

Take care.

Brian Willis



Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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