Asking Why Questions…Why Ask WHY? (Seriously, a client just asked me that!)

We were doing an exercise, where I told a (rather boring) story and someone else in the group, tagged as the Listener was charged with asking questions to find out more (I was purposely vague) and then repeat my story to the group. One participant was confused (and I guess frustrated) and shouted out, “So why would you want me to be asking all these stupid “Why?” questions?”

The point I tried to drive home is that by creating meaningful connections and developing rapport with those you do business with, you will most likely enjoy a more pleasant, rewarding and mutually beneficial relationship. By asking “Why?” you show interest in the other person. If you are actively listening, you will learn about that other person’s motivations for the things he does and the reasons behind any mis-communications.

This person went on to complain that his colleagues “would never change” and “don’t care about me…!”

I suggested he start to ask them some general question about an ideal scenario, “What if we tried….?” Or “Would there be valuing in considering…” to an individual or group, it can open up discussion of alternative solutions instead of feeding an argument about the problem.

This guy was tough….we’ll have to see.

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