People should question the elephant in the roomWritten by Tom Richard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Apparently, I have no ability to spot a toupee, even if it is sitting on top of the head of a person directly in front of me.
I guess I just never really cared whether or not a person was wearing a toupee. However, now that I realize my deficiency in spotting these things, I find myself asking the question, “Why would you wear a toupee if everybody in the world (except for me) can tell it’s fake?”
These are some of the questions that people simply do not ask. But why? Why don’t we ask certain questions? Chances are the answer is as illogical as the silly social rules themselves.
Have you ever asked yourself why we ask questions in the first place? Aren’t questions the communication tools we use to learn about one another? Then, why can’t we ask a toupee wearer what his motivations are? For all we know he has a perfectly acceptable reason for putting that thing on his head; the only way to find out is by asking.
These types of questions are loosely referred to as “the elephant in the room.” What if there really was an elephant in the room? I would be asking, “Hey, is that an elephant?” Seriously, picture it for a moment. You’re sitting in a room and just to your left is a giant elephant sitting there staring at you. What would you do? Make small talk?
There is a lot of value in asking untouchable questions. To begin with, you are demonstrating that you are comfortable in your own skin. As long as your question is something that you could not find the answer to with a modicum of research or preparation, and you really would like an answer, then fire away with your questions.
Confident question asking allows you to truly get to know a person. When you ask real questions, you get real answers. If you see an elephant in the room, ask why it’s there. You will break down barriers between you and the other person; people will be comfortable talking with you in the same candid fashion.
Yes, with just a few great questions, you can flush those conduits of communication, brush away cobwebs of chit-chat and connect, really connect, with another human being.
Sure, it may be awkward for a few moments, but your inquiry itself becomes intriguing; it acts as a catalyst to fruitful conversation.
If you don’t want canned answers, then stop asking canned questions. If you ask a person how business is going, you’re almost sure to get a canned response. If you ask a person what has changed in his business in the past 12 months, the person will actually have to stop and think for a second. The second answer will be much more helpful in making a connection.
If you ask a person about how Thanksgiving break went, you’ll get a dumb answer. If you ask a person how the changes in government will impact business, you’ll get a much more candid response.
When you ask questions like this, you are actually making yourself vulnerable because of the implied reciprocal questions and because you’re asking for a very candid answer.
Regardless of what is going on in the world, people still do business with other people. Get out of your head so that other people can come in. When you get out of your own head, you’re exposing yourself; you’re allowing people to connect with you.
Granting this permission to connect with you allows the other person to get out of his own head, too.
Now, instead of two people having conversations with themselves, two people are sharing information, talking, and actually learning about each other.
People yearn for real connections, so connect, no matter what it takes.
See how far you can push things and get some examples by going to http://www.boltfromtheblue.com/ and entering the word TOUPEE into the blueprint box.