Let’s be honest. We all want to leave a meeting knowing that we said something smart and added value to the conversation. It feels great when we have answers. Here’s the thing I find interesting, though. Often the best thing uttered in a meeting isn’t anything said at all, but something asked.
The right question can change your strategy, shed different light on a problem, create new opportunities and empower people to challenge the status quo with new ideas. Sure, asking a question may mean you don’t know the answer offhand. But you get credit for asking the question that changed the conversation. And that feels great, too.
Arik Hanson noted on a post here a few weeks ago that he believes one of the biggest mistakes PR pros make every day is that we’re so set on telling clients what we think (read “having the answers”), that we forget to listen.
Don’t listen with the intention of responding. Listen with the intention of understanding. Doing that will lead you to smart answers and even smarter questions.
Have you noticed the power of asking the right question? What did it do for the conversation?
*Image by Esparta Palma.