Whether you are in sales or just interacting with other people here is a good way to gain rapport, become more appealing to others, and gain insights. The tip is to ask questions. There are two types of questions, open-ended and close-ended. Open-ended questions will necessitate the responder to answer with a statement of several words. For example, “What did you enjoy most about your work?” Or, “What do you look forward to doing this next year?
A closed-ended question will elicit a yes or no or some other one-word response. An example of this type of question might be, “Do you like your work?” Or, “Are you going home now?”
If you feel uncomfortable asking questions you might want to soften them with something like, “ I’m curious…” or “I was wondering….” Try it, you might be surprised what you can do when you ask questions and are genuinely interested. Listen to learn, not to make a response.
There is the story of two people sitting next to each other on an airplane from New York to Los Angles. One fellow, Bob, struck up a conversation using open-ended questions, and they conversed throughout the several hours they were in the air. When the other man, we’ll call him John, left the airport he told his friends he had the most interesting man on the plane discussing all sorts of things. When asked what the name of the other person was he commented that he didn’t even know.
You see, Bob had been asking the questions, encouraging John to tell all about himself.
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