To make an impact on others, you might think that you have to say something profound or interesting. In an attempt to make a connection, you may end up trying to act smart or funny. Or, you try to connect by complaining or gossiping with the other person because I guess that’s an easy way to feel like you have something in common?
One of the best things you can do to make a strong connection and impact others is ask questions.
Ask questions that are open and likely require more than a 1 word answer.
- Instead of “How was your day?” try “What was the best moment of your day?”
- When you just meet someone, instead of asking “What do you do for a living?” you might try “What does your ideal Saturday look like?” – “What was your first job?” or “What’s the coolest thing you’ve done recently?”
- Instead of “Did you win?” you could ask “What did you learn?” or “What was the hardest part for you?”
Try it this week and see what happens.
See, one part of making an impact on others is asking them things that they don’t normally get asked. When you get someone to say “well I don’t normally get asked that” that’s when you know you’re digging deeper and making an impact.
The best conversationalists actually don’t do much of the talking, they do as much as they can to find out about the hopes, beliefs, struggles and passions of others.
They make an impact by listening, caring and showing interest.
Leaders who just want to TELL others how to do it, or TALK about what they know are missing out on the opportunity to get to know their athletes/clients/employees better.
Bottom Line? If you really want to make a connection and an impact on someone, then listen more than you talk and help him or her feel valued. Ask questions. Go beyond the normal, surface questions and get creative.