By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
Most people don’t ask enough questions.
A typical comment after many social interactions is, they didn’t ask me any questions. Whether it’s a job interview or first date, many people don’t ask enough questions. They leave that social interaction without the information they needed. Not asking questions can also make the person you talk to think you are uninterested in them or the topic of your meeting. So, if you want to make a better first impression, or second, or even third, learn to ask more questions. Of course, there’s a right way and a wrong way to ask those questions. Here are some of the reasons people don’t ask enough questions.
People who are busy thinking about themselves don’t ask about others.
People who want to impress you, or sell you something, often talk about themselves rather than asking you questions. If you leave the interaction thinking all that person did was talk about themselves, you’re probably right. If you want better relationships with others, learn to balance your talking with your listening. Create space for the other person to talk and encourage them by asking questions about them.
Apathetic people don’t ask questions.
If someone you’re talking to doesn’t ask about you and your day, they probably don’t care. When you have a conversation, if you don’t ask the other person questions, you’re likely to convey the impression that you don’t care about them, even if that’s not the way you feel. To strengthen relationships, take an interest in the other person. Ask questions that invite them to share more about themselves and their interests
People are afraid of asking the wrong question.
Many people don’t ask enough questions because they are afraid of sounding ignorant, incompetent, or rude. Don’t let your fear of asking the wrong question keep you from using questions to gather information and strengthen a relationship.
Some people underestimate the value of a good question.
People who ask more questions are generally perceived as being more likable. A good question can be an opportunity to learn from someone more knowledgeable. Asking the right question can also be your chance to show a genuine interest in someone else. People who asked more questions were more likely to know about others interests and habits. If you ask questions, the other person is more likely to want to continue the conversation.
Overconfident people talk instead of asking questions.
If you spend the majority of your time and interactions talking, you conveyed the impression that you think you have all the answers and that the other person’s information or ideas are unimportant. If you ask more questions, you may be surprised at the things you learn. You can discover the person you’re talking to doesn’t agree with you, and they may have some valuable ideas you haven’t heard yet.
Don’t be afraid to ask a stupid question.
People who are high in anxiety or are insecure may avoid asking questions for fear of appearing stupid. The dumbest questions and the ones you don’t ask. Most people are delighted to talk about themselves, their latest project, or their lives. Asking them questions shows that you’re interested. No one ever knows all the answers.
How can you learn to use questions to improve your relationships?
Asking good questions, the kind that improves relationships, and gathers information is a skill that can be learned. Here are some tips on becoming better at using questions in your conversation.
Most people like to be asked questions about themselves.
The proper way to use questions to improve relationships is to ask people questions they will enjoy answering. This type of question demonstrates that you are genuinely interested in the other person. Avoid questions that put people on the spot or ask for overly personal Information.
Plan ahead, create several questions you plan to ask.
Notice that journalists who interview prominent people almost always have a list of questions they have prepared ahead of time. Sometimes they even submit these questions to the person they’ll be interviewing in advance. Knowing what you want to ask, maybe also doing some research ahead of time, helps you to ask intelligent, informed questions. Better questioning creates a better relationship.
It’s okay to ask questions about multiple topics.
Limiting your questioning of someone else to questions on only one topic can convey the wrong impression. Repeated questions on one subject can feel like the person is being interrogated. It can also suggest that you are only looking for answers to your questions and not genuinely interested in the other person.
Asking follow-up questions gets the answers you need.
If you discover something new about the person, you’re talking can go deeper into that subject by asking additional questions. Learn to be curious and asked for more information about the things you discover.
Don’t abuse questions.
Many people become anxious when they are asked a question. It’s common for people to use questions as weapons rather than as requests for information. Do you remember as a child when a parent or other adult asking you, “why did you do that?” Things like “how could you be that stupid?” isn’t someone looking for information, it’s someone looking to hurt you.
When asking other people questions, be especially alert for times when a question may trigger an emotional response. Be careful about asking questions that may be too personal or uncomfortable.
The Harvard business review in its article The Surprising Power of Questions found that learning to ask good questions is an important business skill people need to develop.
How comfortable are you asking and answering questions?
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!
Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.
Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.
Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.
Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.
What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?
Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.
For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Millerhttps://www.amazon.com/David-Joel-Miller/e/B076P1JPYF
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