‘The secret to life’ suggested my father, is to ask questions. Be inquisitive, he said, with everyone you meet and everything you see.
Asking questions comes naturally to me – much to the chagrin of my children who often cringe as I would meet a new friend of theirs and ask way too many questions.
But setting aside my kid’s new friends, my inquisitiveness upon meeting someone new would produce a host of potential topics to talk about and sometimes, more importantly, that all important ‘common thread’.
In fact, we have a very close friend who recently revealed the fact that she was taught not to ask questions like I do, because she was told it was quite rude. I have adults in my life who, it seems, will never ask questions about you or about things in your life. I actually have a very hard time with this as I think it’s rude not to take an interest in other people’s lives.
Why is it important to be inquisitive and ask questions?
- It shows respect as you take an interest in someone else’s life. Your questions are meant to respectfully probe into someone else’s world being sure not to cross boundaries where you are not welcome.
- Your questions could reveal the ‘common thread’ between the two of you. It isn’t unusual that there is something you share in terms of other people, interests, views on life or business or more. Once established, that common thread can lead to wonderful conversations for both.
- Your questions have the potential to open up doors you didn’t know existed. From relationships, to opportunities to connections beyond the two of you – the potential is boundless.
I do have a habit of going overboard sometimes with my questions: too fast, too many, poorly timed. But when I get it right – it is well worth it. I have met some amazing people in my life because of the questions I posed when I first met them. And whether it be the relationship that followed or somewhere else that discussion led me, it is always an adventure.
So, do you ask enough questions? You should.