LESSON 3

Use Questions To Communicate Your Ideas

Use Questions To Share Your Ideas

This page is a quick introduction and overview about how to use questions for fast communication improvement.

We spend way too much time trying to convince people to adopt our ideas by giving them facts and arguing with them. Unfortunately, this can lead to frayed relationships and usually doesn't work all that well.

So, let me suggest a better way: questions.

Questions are one of the most important techniques you can use for effective communication. Here's why :

If you make a statement, you own it.

If you ask a question, when the other person answers it, they own the answer.

Let me give you an example:

Let's say I want to convince you to quit smoking. So (quite logically) I say to you, "you need to quit smoking."

How well will this work? Is it likely to have any impact at all on their smoking behavior?

Of course they already know they need to quit smoking, don't they? They don't need (or want) me to tell them that.

So when I say that it's going to bounce right off of them like a pebble off of a stone wall. It's likely to have any effect at all.

Here's A Better Way

Ask them a question instead.

Something like: "you need to quit smoking, don't you?"

Now, at least they're going to consider the answer. And they might even agree with it.

This is what I call a tag question, isn't it? It's just a phrase that's added on to any statement to turn it into a question, isn't it?

It's really easy to use, isn't it?

And it can drive people crazy if you do it too much, can't it?

You see the idea. Just make the statement and put the tag on the end of it.

Tags are limited only by your imagination. To get you started, here are a couple of sample tags you can use:

When it couldn't, shouldn't it? Doesn't it?

These turn any statement into a question and immediately turns it from something you own into something they own.

There's a lot more to questions because you can really persuade people and change things and influence people and events by using questions much more effectively than you can by arguing or making statements.

Statements just bounce off of people.

But questions penetrate and help people to solve their own problems and uncover resources.

Want to know more?

You can get my Leading by Influence program here.

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Because effective communication is the foundational skill that underlies all other skills, our mission is to create frameworks and strategies that anyone can use to quickly become a more effective communicator regardless of their background or current skill level.

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