This is an excerpt from a real coaching session this week. Enjoy!
You should practice asking two questions for every statement that you make.
Practice in real life.
At John’s house, Jane asks, “John, how about steak for dinner?”
John replies, “Sounds great. I’ll have two.” Let’s have mashed potatos and peas, too.
At Rick’s house, Elaine asks, “Rick, how about steak for dinner?”
Rick replies, “Potatos?”
Elaine says, “Sure, how about mashed?”
Rick, sounds great. Veggies?”
Elaine says, “We have peas and corn.”
Rick asks, “How do you feel about peas?”
Elaine says, “Fine.”
Rick asks, “Fine, you’d rather have corn? or Fine, peas is what you would have picked?”
Elaine, “We’ll have peas.”
Rick asks, “Elaine, one more thing. Do we have a lot of steak?”
Elaine asks, “Why?”
Rick asks, “Do we have enough for me to have two?”
Essentially, both of these fictional couples are gonna have the same thing for dinner, but….
Who’s wife felt like they were in control? and which one felt controlled?
Who was in control?
What’s the ratio of question marks to periods?
Which couple spent more time interacting? (Communicating.)
Practice when it doesn’t matter. I do.
5 thoughts on “Asking Questions at Home for Practice”
Pretty good analogy! One question. While the character Rick was in control, but helping Elaine feel in control, what if he really wanted Corn? Now he’s stuck with Peas. -Paul
Do you not know the answer? Are you trying to determine if I know the answer? or Are you just trying to get attention?
to get corn simply requires another question or two: Elaine decides, “we’ll have peas.”Rick says, “is there any reason not to have both?”Elaine, being the saint that has listened to Rick’s questions for decades, and understands where this is going, says, “well have both.”
Practice when it matters, too! I have found this method very helpful in assisting a certain high school student with his homework. Where he would rather have me provide the answer, he has much more ownership of the answer if I can ask him the right questions to enable him to figure it out. So, if I can help a teenager learn algebra by asking questions, I certainly should be able to help a prospect learn what his real needs are, and the possible consequences of his problem in the same way. This stuff helps all over the place!
Rob, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve said for years that learning how to sell was learning how to live. It not only helps when I’m selling, but it also helps when I’m buying, managing, networking, coaching, socializing, volunteering….in other words, whenever I’m interacting with anyone and we need to understand each other.