Be An Asker

My best teachable and learning times have been when I have practiced asking instead of telling in my connections with people. However, easy said than done. When you get that call that puts your back against the wall, it’s hard to ask and not get defensive when you flip into tell mode. It can mean the difference between you or them feeling engaged to learn versus defensive and listening to respond.

Strong communications skills are the foundations to create spaces to be able to learn or help someone else learn. Most of the time we try to push our teaching through. We try to strong arm learning into being. Because the relationship doesn’t exist the learner or trainer never knows the real issue because feedback won’t be shared. Lack of communication has negative consequences on the opportunities to learn.

Asking questions puts us into a humble posture that opens the learner up to us a little more. Perspective is reality. Perspective matters. Their perspective of you is important to be aware of. You don’t get that by just telling. You show by asking more than telling, you’re interested about what the other person has in their heads.

Inquiries I find that are more oriented on how the person feels in the moments are easy starters to opening it up more.

“Are you okay?’

“How do you feel this conversation is going? Is this the direction you wanted it to go?”

Or, “Is this to personal in what I am asking?”

I focus my asking on the relationship I have in that moment with the person across from me. I want my expectations met and in order to achieve that, I have to make sure I am meeting the other parties too.

We have this mentality of being always on “busy” mode that makes connections and learning like this completely hard to accomplish. Often times we work in spaces that give more credit to what we get done, then what we get done right because it’s the right thing to do. This status gets in the way of learning.

Let go of your rank. Sometimes our feeling of rank or earned right to be a teller overrides what got us the rank to be trusted. What got us the rank was our approachability. If you approach things with out worry of the rank a person holds or the rank you hold, there’s a much more open approach. It’s not about status. It’s about the ability to project humility so others can feel like your approachable. When you’re in charge you should never treat someone like you have authority over them. That doesn’t work any more, it intimidates and creates division.

All this states above a certain mindset. Revealing to others that we’re approachable takes a mindset to create. Intentionally opening yourself up for example, takes a mindset to accomplish and creates the perception for others that they can engage you. Bias is something that can impact our mindsets. Personal bias is a real thing. We don’t meant to do it, but we place it on others everyday with out awareness that we are. You can adjust your mindset to be approachable. All you have to practice is a deep self-awareness. Always make sure you know what’s up, before you jump to judgement.

In order for great communication to take place, we have to work on creating a space for a good relationship to be grown. Practicing humility by asking versus telling is one way to accomplish this building of trust. Taking a personal slant to be more worried and attentive to what someone is expressing will give us a lot to learn. At the same time we will be creating a long lasting meaningful relationship. One we can then learn from for years and years.

Hope you’re having a great week! Thanks for viewing.

✌🏻 Shawn

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