The World’s Best Question?

7th June 2022

A critical part of my job – and your job – is our ability to ask great questions.

The better we do this, the more we understand other people’s point of view.

And the better we understand that, the more we can add value to them – and to us.

I have spent decades (I am so old) researching what the best questions are. I have interviewed people who use questions as a core part of their job – barristers, counsellors, sales people, leaders, coaches, mentors, therapists, etc – what their best questions are

And all my research has led to this being the world’s best question:

       “TELL ME MORE?”

In other words:

  1. Ask your first question, to get them speaking
  2. Ask “TELL ME MORE?”, to get to what really matters
  3. You can then follow this up with other probing questions – these will start with the usual question words – why, what, when, how, who…

For example, if a conversation goes like this:

   Me: What’s your #1 priority?
   Them: To increase sales
   Me: Brilliant – let’s discuss sales training

This might or might not be the right solution for them. Instead, this is much better:

   Me: What’s your #1 priority?
   Them: To increase sales
   Them: Well, we aren’t selling as much as we want to
   Me: Why’s that?
   Them: Our proposal success rate is 2%
   Me: That sounds frustrating. Why do you think that is?
   Them: Because our template is rubbish
   Me: Why do you say that?

In the first example, I was all for launching into their huge need for sales training.

But they didn’t need that.

Instead, having said “tell me more?”, it looks like they probably just need a new proposal template, maybe followed by some training on how to use it. A totally different solution.

Do you find this tip useful?

Really? Tell me more … ?

Action Point

Very simple – in your first conversation today, after you’ve your first question, ask “tell me more”. And see if they tell you more!

And if you want to be told more…

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