Christopher salem's blog

The Art of Asking

We live in a society conditioned toward telling rather than asking.  When in telling mode, we hope to inform and impress others whether it is for business or personal relationships.  Western, egalitarian and individualistic cultures appreciate high achievers and task-accomplishment, but the awareness of interdependency and relationships is often missing: you need the others on the team.  The ability to ask questions establishes curiosity and interest in the other person. This is why the art of asking builds better relationships.

It is a fact that we work harmoniously together with someone we truly know and trust.  However, we often are not prepared or willing to make the effort to spend time and effort to build relationships.  So how does asking build better relationships?

Telling in reality puts the other person down, in a way. It often implies they do not know what I am telling them.  However, asking empowers the other person and implies they know something I want to know,  In addition, it makes me vulnerable. I require something from them.

In asking, trust builds on my end when the other person does not ignore but addresses my question. At the same time, trust builds on their end because I show an interest and pay close attention to what they say to me.  However, this is only true if you ask open questions and you are not merely testing your own ideas.

It is so important to ask more genuine questions when mastering the art of asking. It will help you to listen more instead of talk.  It is essential to not assume that you know what the other wants or needs. Learn to be in the moment through practicing mindfulness which helps to clear your mind and maximize your listening.  It also will allow you to access your ignorance and ask questions in the least biased and threatening way.  It just takes practice.

Your questions may contain your advice or prejudice even if not intended.  Compare: “Have you thought of doing training in Sales Management?” versus: “What are you doing about your priorities and sales calls?” The first question is more likely to trigger a defensive response.

The art of asking is ideal for anyone not just sales professionals. It can apply to any business professional and works in personal relationships as well.  Get started today to learn the art of asking and watch your relationships take off including your bottom line!

To your health & prosperity,

Christopher Salem

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