SCOTT DOW -
"When you're trying to make a point, a lot of managers talk way too much. And the more they talk, the more people have to listen to, interpret and remember what's being said. So you want to say more with fewer words.
There are two ways to make a point:
- You can make a statement, or
- You can ask a question.
Managers that talk too much, make too many statements, and don't ask enough questions. When you make a statement, you are sharing a conclusion that you've already reached, but then you've got to explain it, justify it and defend it. But good questions can lead people to your same conclusion. And when that happens, you won't have to explain it, justify it, or defend it, because it's become their conclusion, too.
You want to lead with questions because questions demonstrate your empathy, interest, and understanding. And it's a good way of opening people up to the conclusion you want them to reach.
Questions get people thinking, and when they start thinking in your direction, they're going to be much more open to your advice and counsel. A good rule of thumb is to ask a couple questions for every statement you're going to make.
Use open-ended questions to get them thinking, and close-ended questions to focus their thinking. Then make your statement. Remember, when you ask a question, you get them talking and that's a good thing, because it gives you something to work with.
But when you make a statement, you're going to get a reaction, and you're going to have to respond to that reaction. You're going to have to clarify it, you're going to have to explain it, and you're going to have to defend it. And you end up doing most of the talking, and that's not good.
A two-way conversation is still the best way to make your point, and the best way to guide the conversation is by using questions and statements together. So talk less, ask more, and you're going to make your point stick."
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