Most of us know there are some simple steps we can take in order to improve our communication with clients, prospective employees, contacts and other people generally. If you have heard of the expression Open Ended Questions, then you will know the good examples “What, Why, When, Where” and the other W question, which ends in w, “How”.
Add to that a wonderful start to a question which doesn’t have a W in it, but certainly belongs up there with all the other W questions. First, a short story to illustrate its use.
I remember chatting with a friend at a cocktail party and commenting I had noticed he had spent a considerable amount of time talking with the Managing Partner of one of the big 4 firms, let’s call the Managing Partner Bill. I asked my friend what he had been speaking about and he his response was “I was telling Bill about my ideas for economic sustainability in Pacific Island countries”. I was a little surprised so asked what Bill had said, and was told “Oh Bill said tell me more”.
I know that Bill’s firm will have sent him to many marketing and communication skills training sessions. It intrigued me that the product of one of those sessions was to very simply listen and respond with “Tell me more”. I therefore added “Tell me…” onto my list of W questions.
If you are interviewing potential staff “Tell me” can be used with questions such as:
- “Tell me about the best manager you worked for”
- “Tell me about a mistake you made and what you learnt from it”
- “Tell me about the best person who worked for you”
- “Tell me the worst thing a client said to you”
- “Tell me the best thing a client has send to you”
When talking with business people, especially prospective clients
- “Tell me about the history of the business”
- “Tell me what you feel really drives the profitability of the business”
- “Tell me the aspect of work you most enjoy doing”
- “Tell me about your current challenges”
- “Tell me about your plans to grow the business”
- “Tell me about your best staff member”
Thea Foster – Added Value Corporation Pty Ltd
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