'Ask Powerful Questions' Summary
Updated: Jan 8
Mental Models from the book:
'Ask Powerful Questions' can be summarised into 9 mental models:
1. Availability Heuristic
You can use questions to prime and persuade someone. The more you think about something the more likely you are to engage in that behavior. For example: Asking someone if they are going to vote will increase the likelihood that they will buy 25%
2. Curiosity Instinct
Everyone has a unique life story and experience. We all have something of value to share. Your goal is to find out what that thing is.
To build rapport, ask questions about something you are curious about. For example: "I'm curious about your hat. How does the world respond to you, when you wear that hat?"
When you forgo judging and use curiosity within your questions, people feel like you are saying "I hear you".
Use "we" to empower and exhilarate people around you.
When using reflective listening, end by saying: "Did I get that right?"
To be empathetic describe how a person sees the world: "It sounds like you believe...."
When we sympathetically listen, we think we are listening, but we are really listening to how we feel. We are hearing our own story while they tell theirs.
When there is tension in a conversation, leave the content (what is being talked about) and pivot to a place of process (how it is being talked about). For example: "Wait a moment. Let's leave this topic for a moment and talk about what got us so worked up".
5.1 Emotions: Fear
The 2 most common fears for connecting with people are:
Fear of being rejected
Fear of looking stupid
To become more open be aware of what triggers you to become closed.
"But" has the effect of negating anything that was said before it. Use "and" instead of but".
People want to be heard and understood and it provides deep value to them when they are.
Compliments are a form of judging and can therefore be problematic. Don't say: "I like your tattoo say "You must get comments about your tattoo all the time."
Managing over talkers by:
Stopping them: "Can I pause you there".
Complimenting them genuinely: Thank you for sharing"
Reflecting on what you heard: "I heard you say..."
Inviting others to respond: "Let's see how others respond to what you just said".
If you ask: "How was your weekend?" it takes people to the past, somewhere they are not. This creates unconscious resistance.
Open-ended questions usually start with: How/What/Why. Be careful with 'Why' questions, they can often produce defensiveness and scripted responses.
Mental Model Mind Maps
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