My friend and mentor John Maxwell said it best with this quote, “Good leaders ask great questions that inspire others to dream more, think more, learn more, do more and become more.” What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word conversation? The answer typically is talking. Guess what? Did you know that 80% of a successful conversation involves listening?
Great conversationalists have one thing in common. They ask questions that draws others out. Why is that? Well, it is a simple truth: people like to talk about their favorite subject, which is themselves. In order to have a great conversation, I’ve come up with an easy technique called the 2C’s: curiosity and connection.
- Be curious: early on in the conversation ask questions, what, how, where, and when?
- Connection: connecting questions tends to have a personal attachment (i.e., about family). and allows us to build a bridge
Truth be told, if you were to enter every conversation with a few good questions, you would be viewed as an amazing conversationalist.
Neuroscientists state that when we talk about our own beliefs and opinions, rather than those of other people, our mesolimbic dopamine system is stimulated. This effect is most commonly associated with the motivation and reward feelings we get from food, money and sex. So, if you’re looking for proof in becoming a curious and connective conversationlist, the Harvard neuroscientists just gave it to you!