Have you ever felt that many conversations are repetitions of previous ones? You meet someone and ask, “What’s up?” or “How are things?” or something similar. You probably know the answer before the person even speaks….
Lately I have been trying something new. It wasn’t a conscious strategy. It just came to me. I was playing golf with an old friend. I looked at him and asked:
Instead of pressing a play-button, he stopped to think. Then he said: “We moved our office and I end up in traffic jams. It’s important to keep my cool and not get stressed, since I don’t want my family to find me irritated over things that are not their fault.” I listened, asked some more, and discussed coping strategies. It was simply rewarding. I got to know an old friend better.
What’s important? This is a powerful question. It opens new doors. It deepens relationships. Many account managers, who had their customers for a long time, don’t ask as much questions. Either they don’t dare to (I should know) or they don’t feel that it is necessary (I already know). Perhaps this simple question open up new opportunities?
Try it out. What do you got to loose? The next meeting you have with someone, ask the question. My guess is that your conversation will be much more fruitful than before.