Saturday, January 29, 2011

Awareness in questioning!

Long time passed since I wrote last time here, and today I want to tell you one idea about practical application of EI to our everyday communication.
It goes from mmy experience which I had in my last business trip for leadership training with one big company. During module about challenging techniques in communication I explained idea about asking chllenging questions which help both sides to undestand deeply topic they discuss . Participants were practising in asking challenging questions which are actually are open questions instead of closing.
It was interesting to note how difficult for people to ask questions instead of hiding their assumptions under questions. How often they use form of questions only to pass their message instead of passing it directly. And how they react when don’t get unexpected ansers J
You can ask me – Whats the connection with EI skills?
In one of my posts I told you about different levels of communication – and here in the questioning we also can see all levels: verbal, paraverbal, non-verbal and emotional.
The emotional level here connects with our intention while asking other person: do we want to convince him that our point of you is the best  or we want really to find out more information about topic?  Do we want to challenge our partner and ouselves in the topic? Do we want to give support ?
It was interesting to note how different is reaction on the question which depends on the intention of asking person. Even if questiion formulated very correctly, open and polite, person can react back agressively or defensevely if asking person hide original intention.
The secon aspect here is that we can formulate good questions but they will not bring us a full or specific answer. And also I saw interesting result when person ask something and don’t satisfy by answer.
I started to think what can be usefull tip to formulate good helpful question? And I was surprised by the simple way of doing it. Just ask yourself – “What I really want to know or find out?” – and you will see how you start answer  ”I want to know what is…. Or where…. Or how….” And you will immidiately formulate BEST question J
And its interesting to notice that when you make a lot of efforts in formulating good questions and it does not work – just to ask this simple Q to yourself and you will get perfect formulation  of the question.
And this phenomen goes from low self-awareness of real interest when we ask question. We don’t really aware  what we want to learn out from asking question. If you develop this simple self-awareness aspect of asking Q you will see results immidiately – how easy and specific will your communication be J
So,next time you want to ask question for someoneask first yourself: “What I really want to know??” and use answer wich goes in your mind as question to ask J Paradox? – Yes! But very usefull one J