If you want to get One Grip Higher today, ask the second question… relentlessly!

Marcus Buckingham recently tweeted, “Everyone is infinitely more interesting they you are, if you take the time to ask the right questions and get to know them.

Is that how you approach every conversation? That’s not easy to do… It seems that most conversations that I am in, involve 2 people (me and the person I am talking with) who are both interested in getting their own opinions and ideas expressed. It is exceedingly rare that either person in a conversation takes Buckingham’s perspective to heart.

A friend and mentor of mine, Dr. Joe Hoff, is a masterful conversationalist. When you meet him, you will love your time with him. You will feel instantly as though you have been friends forever, and you will realize that he really finds you to be interesting. Dr. Hoff, will ask you questions relentlessly in a way that builds upon the prior information he has learned about you. If you ask him a question, he answers if quickly (if at all) and then follows up on his prior question to you with a second, third and fourth question. He really digs into who you are and what you value.

This is vastly different then most people I talk with. Most conversations go like this:

  • I ask you a question
  • You answer the question and ask me a question
  • At some point we stop asking questions and one of us starts rambling

Conversations with Dr. Hoff go differently:

  • Dr. Hoff asks you a strategic and targeted question about what you value
  • You answer
  • Before you are finished, Dr. Hoff asks a clarifying 2nd question (and maybe a 3rd and 4th question).
  • You might squeak a question in at some point
  • Dr. Hoff redirects the conversation back to questions about you

I have been extremely influenced by Dr. Hoff, because he always ask the 2nd question about me. Time and time again, he invests in and influences me by asking the second question.

Action Step: In your next conversation, be intentional to redirect the conversation away from you at least 3 times, by asking the 2nd question. This will not happen by accident. It will take intentional effort.

Consistently redirecting the focus back to the person you are talking with will increase your influence in the lives of the people you meet and help you get One Grip Higher.

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