Improving professional relationships by improving conversations with those whom you do business, is always an excellent leadership strategy… as well as an excellent investment in your future.
CBS Money Watch recently published an article featuring 21 ways to improve conversations, thereby improving personal and business relationships. The list includes asking questions such as:
- “What is the best part of your job?
- What is the best part of working at your company?
- When did you know that you wanted to work in your field?
- Who was the most influential person in your business career choice?
- What was your biggest accomplishment last year?
- Who do you look forward to seeing when you come to work?
- What are you most excited about that you see coming up in the next six months?
- What was the most impressive thing you saw happen in your industry in the last year?
- Which company in your industry is the pacesetter and what are they doing?
- What’s the smartest thing your company’s done in the last year to deal with the economy?”
Each of these questions will cause the person with whom you are having a conversation to think, compare, make a choice and articulate that choice. By asking these questions, you will engage people at a deeper level than just a transactional conversation; you will truly engage the other person in meaningful conversation.
Each time a person answers your opening question, you can further the conversation by asking “why?” You will learn even more very valuable information.
By facilitating conversations that include questions like these, you will encourage the other person to think, compare, make a choice and articulate that choice. You will learn extremely important and beneficial information by asking these penetrating, deeper-level questions.
Then… be quiet and listen, learn, lead and succeed!