Asking the Right Questions

I love asking questions. That’s probably why my favorite part of my job as a HR professional is interviewing people.  I love to hear people’s stories. I enjoy hearing what they believe and what’s important to them.

And, I think most people like to tell their story.  Scott Eblin, author of Overworked and Overwhelmed: the Mindfulness Alternative, recently posted a blog about the importance of getting to know the people we work with—not just who they are at work but what they really care about. He posed the question “What difference would it make if you could find the person behind the professional?”  He thinks if we knew our co-workers better, we’d be more trusting and productive

One of the ways to get to know the people we work with is to ask questions.  Eblin described a process that Pat Lencioni uses, where he asks people to respond to three questions about their childhood. Lencioni says this works because everyone was a kid once! The questions are:

  • Where did you grow up?
  • How many siblings do you have?
  • What was the biggest challenge of your childhood?

Eblin also shared ten other questions you can use to get to know someone. These questions are taken from the Museum Hack website:

  • What’s your favorite place of all the places you’ve traveled to?
  • If you were immortal, what age would you choose to stop aging and why?
  • What was the worst job you ever had?
  • If you could choose any two famous people to have dinner with—who would they be and why?
  • If you could change places with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
  • If you could instantly be an expert in something, what would it be?
  • If you could eliminate one thing from your daily routine, what would it be and why?
  • What was your favorite game as a child?
  • What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
  • When you die, what do you want to be remembered for?

Do you agree that if you know people a little better, it might help your working relationships? If so, let us know what works for you and we’ll share it with our readers.

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