In my experience, and perhaps this stems from lots of interviews I’ve done, or maybe from selling for several decades – when asking open-ended probing questions, the secret is to then shut up and wait for, listen for, the answer. Asking questions over devices is like sending telegrams and waiting for the answers – it doesn’t lead to fruitful discussion and interaction, because that comes face to face.
I had someone ask me yesterday (we were setting up an interview) if wanted to do it by Zoom. I said no. Emphatically. I’ve done two interviews that weren’t face-to-face (one by phone, one by Zoom), and regretted them both, swearing to never do another …
We never know what comes next, what happens after our action – or our inaction, as we explore any new opportunity, any new person, or any new venture.
The chance of anything happening that we wish for is as likely as a predicted lightning strike or a big-prize lottery win, but what are the odds?
Chance meetings, chance connections, the present themselves all the time – like seeing someone coming down the street: stop to start a conversation, smile and say hello, or walk on by – only to wonder later what might have been, what you might have seen, or who you might have met. If only.
If only we pick up the phone, if only we tap someone on the shoulder, if only we ask one more question, offer one more idea, respond to one more suggestion. If only!
Someone got my attention – and it won’t let go.
Is that good, or not so good, wise, or not so wise?
All we need to do to find out anything we want is to ask two questions.
Then two more.
Conversations on any subject can be abrupt, pointed, practical, and efficient.
But, if we are listening, there is always something new to ask, uncover, reveal, and explain …
We don’t have to say, “Just two more questions.”
Start with one.
It always leads to another.
The more open we are, the more open our counterpart in any conversation becomes – which brings with it no guarantee of anything, but it leads somewhere.