You Need To Ask “Why”

 

whyYes, you need to ask “Why” then listen…a lot.  Then ask a follow-up question – and – listen again.  I know this might be difficult, because we all like to hear ourselves speak because we like to hear how smart or brilliant we are, but the bottom line is we need to listen a lot to learn a lot.  I quickly learned during my career how to ask questions and listen, then ask follow-up questions and listen some more.  By listening, then empathizing with them (that’s understanding and sharing the feelings of another) and asking many follow-up questions, will you be able to understand the other persons life, challenges, opportunities or ideas.  Sakichi Toyoda, one of the founders of Toyota Motor, actually came up with the “5 Whys”: as a powerful tool to actually get to the bottom, or root cause of a problem or learning the nature of the problem and it’s solution(s).  No matter what career you have, or what networking events you attend, or who you talk to in the hallways on a Monday morning, try to ask “Why” a few more times and listen, really l-i-s-t-e-n.  Listen, understand and process, don’t listen while you are formulating what you want to say after they stop speaking.  We have been brainwashed to think effective communication is to talk right after we finish listening;  you might learn a lot more if you ask a brief follow-up question and listen some more.  If you do that, the person you are communicating with will hold you in much higher regard and you won’t have to do all the talking to show them how smart you are…they will already know.  Here, I’ll make it simple for you:

listen2

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