Guest Post by Terry Gorry

Are you a coach or consultant?

Or maybe you are involved in another role which requires you to spend time helping colleagues or clients.

The easy thing to do, and a common mistake, is to jump in and try to help immediately by giving advice.

Or posing questions which are really pieces of advice masquerading as questions eg have you considered x, y, z?

The bottom line, though, is that in order to help them you need to figure out, and let them recognise, what their problem or issue is.

To do this you need to ask questions.

Not just any old questions.

The questions you ask are absolutely critical.

Have you given much thought to the most effective, useful, powerful questions to ask?

In this piece I am going to share what I consider to be the most effective questions – there are only 3.

The rest is window dressing.

These are the questions I use myself in my law practice when I meet clients or prospects.

I didn’t learn them in law school, though.

I use the exact same questions when I am consulting with small business owners and start ups and entrepreneurs.

You could waste a lot of time asking the wrong questions.

And there is a multitude of questions you could ask.

Questions beginning with who, what, why, how, when, which etc.

The three most important questions begin with the same word.

Let me explain.

There are three questions you need to ask.

Ready?

1st Question is on Facebook

The first you will find on Facebook.

This question has been an integral part of Facebook’s growth into a worldwide phenomenon.

Take a look at the box at the top of your Facebook page, the one that invites you to comment or share something or update your status.

There’s a question in that box to encourage you to do that. It’s the question that Facebook has used, save for one short period, from the early days.

It still uses it today.

The question is: 

What’s on your mind?

This gives your client the opportunity to open up and tell you what the issue(s) is.

But it’s almost certain that what they tell you will not be the real problem, or if it is a real problem it will not be the only one.

Or the most important.

It’s almost certainly something that concerns them, but may not be the real crux of the matter.

2nd Question-3 Short Words

The second question is designed to deal with this.

The question is: 

and What else?

This is only a short one, but it’s essential and critical.

Because it will almost certainly get you to the real concern, especially if What’s on your mind has not elicited the real meat of the problem.

The 3rd question

This question is a natural follow on from the other two, because now you know exactly what the real issues are.

Let’s recap.

Question 1: What’s on your mind?

Question 2: And what else?

The third question is:

What do you want me to do?

Conclusion

Resist the temptation to immediately jump in with advice.

Lean back.

Listen actively.

Ask these 3 questions.

Then you both know exactly what the issues are, and what each of you have to do.

Terry Gorry

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Terry Gorry is an Irish solicitor (lawyer), entrepreneur and small business owner since 1986. He specialises in small business, employment, and property law in Ireland. Click “HERE” to connect with Terry on his website.

MORE RECENT POSTS

The One Question Never to Ask

      Your Invitation from Bob: Did you know that a simple shift in your approach can serve as a catalyst...

Harvard Study Reveals One Word Is the Secret to Being Likable and Emotionally Intelligent

Some things are so simple that we just can't help complicating them. (Guest...

The 3 Most Important Questions for Consultants and Coaches to Ask Clients

A common mistake, is to jump in and try to help immediately by giving advice. (Guest...

The Power of How and What and the Weakness of Why Questions

Excerpted with permission from “Ask Powerful Questions – Create Conversations That Matter”...

What Is Your Questions to Directives Ratio?

Guest Post by Art Petty How many open-ended, idea-chasing questions do you ask every day? Do you ask more...

 WHAT IS THE LEGACY OF THE LEADER?

An excerpt from Chapter 5 of the just released Second Edition of "Dare to Serve" by  Cheryl...

Ten of Bobb Biehl’s All-Time Favorite Questions

Guest Post by Bobb Biehl Note from Bob:  Bobb  Biehl, is for me, the wisest man I have ever met!  I have...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.