HBR’s ‘The surprising power of questions’ identifies four different types of questions, and it turns out one of them is more powerful than any of the others. There’s one that:
- Improves connections,
- Builds relationships, rapport, and trust
- Helps to unblock learning opportunities
And it’s the follow-up question.
Those little supplementary questions where you ask for more information, clarify what’s been said, and delve a little deeper carry a lot of power. They’re the ones that show that you’re present, curious, interested, and listening.
And crucially, they leave the other person feeling respected and heard.