Super U Podcast | Building Relationships | The Focus Project #7
This audible clip from Erik Qualman’s #1 Bestselling book The Focus Project covers how focused questions are the building blocks of deep relationships.
5x #1 Bestselling Author and Motivational Speaker Erik Qualman has performed in over 55 countries and reached over 50 million people this past decade. He was voted the 2nd Most Likable Author in the World behind Harry Potter’s J.K. Rowling.
Need a sneak peek? Below are the main takeaways from the episode.
Building Relationships | The Focus Project #7
“Good questions are bridges to great relationships. A beneficial and unexpected byproduct of improving my focus is my increased ability to help others improve theirs. This improvement resulted from me learning to ask better questions. Focus questions are the building blocks of deep relationships. Think about it. What is the last time you said, “Wow, I really love hanging out with Luke because he talks the whole time.” Said by no one ever, the conversations we actually enjoy share a pattern. The other person spends the majority of the time listening, really listening. He hangs on our every word. Watch what he does, he leans in when we are speaking. He looks us in the eye and asks questions that he knows we will enjoy answering. If focus questions are the bridge to great relationships, then the better our questions, the better we will be at building and maintaining relationships. Relationships drive all transactions, whether it’s a sales transaction or a simple favor, we don’t buy from companies we buy from people. This statement applies not only to business, but to life as well.
If a daughter wants to sell her parents on the idea of getting a new social media account or staying out two hours past her curfew, her chances of getting a yes dramatically increase the stronger the relationship she has with her parents. Trust has been built over time. Let’s get back to the power of questions. An example of my questions becoming better questions that helped others to focus came when I was on a prep call with a partner. This particular partner was bringing me in to deliver the keynote at their annual conference. They were nervous, as it was the first time in their history that the audience would be a mix of their top partners and clients. These were the CEOs and executive teams of the world’s most visited restaurants. Weeks before I took the stage, there were several prep calls leading up to the event. When delivering a keynote, I always have three goals for the audience, entertain them, educate them and empower them. My belief is most people enjoy being entertained and entertainment is a superhighway of opening one’s mind to new ideas. It’s as if one’s head is physically pried open. And we pour knowledge out of the sponge we call a brain. Education then leads to empowerment. formulaically, it looks like this. Entertain leads to education, which leads to empowerment.
A typical prep call would go like this. I would start the call and I’d say I’d like to entertain, educate and empower the audience knowing how are we doing all three, which is the most important and the partner would typically respond. Great question, I guess I’d say all three are equally important. They’re essentially saying yes, I’d like it all. It’s analogous to asking a child if she could only have one scoop of ice cream, would she want vanilla, chocolate or strawberry? And her replied with an ambiguous Yes. roughly 95% of the responses were similar to the above this type of answer wasn’t helping me tailor my performance for the audience. At first, I erroneously believed that the problem was with the partner. I was blaming the other party. It’s not me, it’s them. Why can’t they just properly answer my question? I realized that if all the partners were giving unfocused answers, the problem was not their answers. The problem was my questions. This was a eureka moment. A big part of focus is breaking problems down from a mountain into pebbles to achieve a better answer my question needed to help the partner focus.”
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The Super U Podcast is hosted by #1 bestselling author and Motivational Speaker Erik Qualman.