The Power of Asking Good Questions and Active Listening

Jul 31, 2023

Effective communication is the lifeblood of all successful interactions, be it in personal relationships, professional endeavors, or everyday conversations.

At the core of this art lies the twin pillars of asking good questions and active listening. These powerful communication skills are essential for fostering understanding, building meaningful connections, and achieving mutual growth and success in all areas of life.

It has always meant so much to me when others in my life have executed these two skills with seemingly flawless perfection, making me feel understood, known, cared for and important, just the way I desire to make others feel.

I have tremendously enjoyed doing the same for others…simply asking intentional questions about things of interest in their life and listening to what they have to share, in an attempt to get to know them better.

I recall on more than one occasion after doing this, hearing that the person I had met for the first time and talked to, had later told others what a great guy I was and how much they enjoyed being with me. 

I chuckled inside when hearing this because I realized they knew nothing about me! They had never asked me any questions and had spent our entire time together talking about themself and their interests. Still, their impression of me was that they liked me and felt close to me simply because I had cared enough to get to know them.

I knew where they lived, their occupation, their hobbies, their family size, etc., and they didn’t know any of these things about me, yet thought I was great. All because I asked questions and listened, showing I cared. Isn’t that kind of funny when you think about it?

These times were such great reminders to me of the power of asking questions and listening.

When we ask good questions it reflects genuine interest in others' thoughts, ideas, and experiences.  Most don’t do this, so it usually means a lot to the other person when we do.

Thoughtfully crafted questions not only encourage open dialogue but also enable us to gain deeper insights into the perspectives and emotions of others. By asking pertinent questions, we demonstrate respect for the speaker and create an environment where they feel valued and heard.

However, asking questions alone is not enough; active listening complements this process. Active listening involves devoting undivided attention to the person we are speaking with, absorbing their words, and empathizing with their emotions. This attentive engagement allows us to grasp not only the content but also the underlying sentiments behind the words. It builds trust and rapport, as the person feels acknowledged and validated.

When we master the art of asking good questions and active listening, we reap numerous benefits in all aspects of life. In personal relationships, and professionally as well.

In conclusion, the importance of asking good questions and active listening cannot be overstated. These skills lay the foundation for meaningful interactions, leading to enhanced relationships, professional success, and personal growth. 

Our ability to ask thoughtful questions and listen with intent has the power to show others we care, gain insightful information about them, learn new things, and be in a better position to serve others needs.

Listen to this week’s Life’s Hard, Succeed Anyway podcast here: Epi 045. SUCCESS TIP: 11 Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) Resources You'll Want to Know About

Until next time,