Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What Did You Do At School Today?

Anyone with children will know that by asking "What did you do at school today?" you will get the response, "Nothing much". It is so frustrating isn't it? But what do you automatically say when asked by a shop assistant, "Can I help you?". More than likely you will say, "No thanks, I'm just looking."

Would you like to know how to have a conversation with your children, spouse, workmates or friends? Well try this.

Some years ago, I presented a seminar with a leading Negotiation Consultant who showed me how to get people to tell you what was bugging them and also to have a very stimulating conversation. This was what he said.

Firstly, ask the person you are talking to, "What didn't you like about today", then after their response ask "What else didn't you like about today", then again ask, "What was even worse than that" and finally, ask " What was the absolute worst thing that happened today?" Very often you won't get a response to the fourth question, but if you do you had better believe that it is something that is really buggin them.

Then comes the really fabulous outcome when you flip the question over and ask, "What was the best thing that happened today?" You had better have some time to listen, because whoever you are talking to will really open up and let you into secrets you have never thought about.

Does this work?
You had better believe it!

I was able to achieve a long term consulting contract after a client had tried the technique on his teenage children when they had their best conversation in a number of years. Recently I did a seminar in Bunbury and during the afternoon break, one of the attendees went home for tea, and tried out my "What was the worst thing that happened at school today etc..." technique on his 13 year old son.

The result: "It was the first time in 7 years I had a decent conversation with my son!"
Why don'y you give it a go?

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