STEP TWO: ASK HEAPS OF QUESTIONS
The next thing that really helps build better relationships with anyone is asking questions. A good rule of thumb is asking three times the number of questions that you share about yourself.
The most common conversation is where someone asks a question, the other person answers and asks their own question. Try and short circuit this in a great way by asking a couple of questions in a row before you volunteer information. You’ll have a great conversation and create rapport.
When a person shares someone with me, I use a magical line. Trust me, it works in every situation.
Tell me more about that.
Even if you don’t know anything about what they’re talking about, ask more questions by saying, “Tell me more about that.”
STEP THREE: CHECK IN ON THE STORIES YOU TELL YOURSELF
The last part of the strategy is to be aware of the stories you’re telling yourself about what the person is actually saying. In coaching we call this fact versus fantasy. A lot of the time we get caught up in what’s inside our head and we’re no longer present to the person in front of us.
We’re present to our self talk instead.
Think of someone saying to another, “I want to go out for lunch.” The other person says, “Don’t you want to spend time with me?” All the first person said was they were going out for lunch, but their friend has had a fantasy conversation in their own head.
To stop this happening, when someone tells you something that you react to, check in what they really mean. One great way to put it: “What do you mean by that?”
This fact finding exercise is one of the most important things to do to keep people together. When I’m working with individuals or especially couples, most of the problems they have are made up.
A lot of the time we guess someone’s intentions behind their language and this is a sure way to separate ourselves from them because we’re living in our heads, in a loop of information that may be wrong.
I recommend practicing this with absolutely everyone around you. It’s a great way to get our of your head and back into your body with a deep sense of connection.
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