Do you know someone who has the knack of connecting with others? It doesn’t matter who they meet, they seem to have this magical ability to form a sense of trust and understanding within minutes.
Whatever industry you're in, or what position you hold, learning as many rapport building tools as possible will bring you countless opportunities, when you have a rapport with someone, they will normally want to see and help you to succeed.
If you have read anything on building rapport, or consumed some of my previous content, you will already know about matching and mirroring, giving a good handshake, making eye contact etc etc.
These are all powerful things that you should be doing, and are all part of the rapport building recipe, however a tool that isn’t used as much as it should be is ‘asking questions’.
All to often a conversation can be very ME-CENTRIC, I did this, I did that, I have, I can, blah blah blah. If you want to become a person of influence, its time to drop your need to display your credentials and focus on finding out more about the other person.
A good question will be meaningful and cause the listener to think, it may even cause them to go inside themselves in search for an answer; asking someone ‘How are you?’ does not land in the quality question category.
A couple of questions that are great to ask in a professional setting could be:
What goals are you currently working on?
What is the biggest challenge you are currently facing? - This is great as it may provide you an opportunity to offer help, another great way of building rapport.
This is not to say that all questions need to be deep and meaningful, there will be times where you want to ask fun question, yet still leave a lasting impression.
I am often hosting tables at events where guests have been in conference all day, by the time dinner comes around they want to let there hair down and relax. Here are a couple of my go to questions that are fun and are sure to leave a positive impact.
If you could travel back to your 18 year old self, with all the knowledge that you have now, what advise would you give yourself?
If you had to suddenly change careers and do something completely different, nothing like what you are doing now, what would you do?
Couple Of Question Rules.
The last thing you want to do is come across as the interrogator or just plain nosey. When you ask a question:
Make sure you actively listen - this will demonstrate genuine interest and may also provide you with topics for further conversation
Have an opinion - don’t just ask questions machine gun style, the aim is to ask such great questions that an organic conversation is created; let your personality shine through by giving your opinion.
The next person you speak to give this a try, ask a question you wouldn’t normally ask, step outside your comfort zone and break the norm.
Do you have a go to conversation question?
I would love to hear it, leave it in the comments section below :)
Anthony Laye - Take Action Create Your Story
Behaviour Expert / Mentalist / Speaker
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