Are you asking the right questions?

Everyday I am pulled into or schedule multiple meetings, what seems like an endless amount of answering and returning phone calls, email and formal written correspondence and hallways conversations. One might think that is nearly impossible to get any “work done”, maybe we will talk about that another time, but there is truly work to be done. However in each of those encounters I always want to make sure I am asking the right questions and getting “work done”.

Okay, so now you are probably thinking, what questions do I ask when meeting with people? Maybe some of the following questions, What project are you working on today?, How can I help you accomplish your goals? How is your budget doing? How is your team functioning? How are you doing on your deadlines? etc… all of these are good questions, but I would submit the following should be of focus!

Take time to Be:

  •  Be Personal
    • Take the time to ask how the person is doing? Not just to ask it, but mean it! You all know what I mean by this… don’t be fake!
    • Ask about their family, hopefully you know them well enough to ask specific questions? (may not always apply, but when it does take the time)
    • Connect with them concerning life events happening in their world!
    • Ask about their spiritual life, how are they doing at church, family ministry and personally.
  •   Be Aware
    • Remember the conversation is not about you, do not talk about you and your areas of struggle, stay focused on listening to them. Proverbs 18:13
    • Remember they maybe busy, but do take the time if appropriate. Hopefully you have a good understanding of your relationship with the person and know how they operate. Trust me, it will mean the world to them if you take the time to show interest in them.

Everyday we have an opportunity to encourage and build-up those that we come in contact with, but if we do not take the time to interact personally with them, and truly show that we care, then we are missing the real “work”! I know we all have a ton to do each day and our projects and tasks can become overwhelming, but if we really want to see accomplishments in our lives and relationships start by asking the right questions. Focus on the relationship and developing it and not just the task or project at hand! We all have had those encounters where the person only views you as a work machine and doe not really care how you are doing? Simply put, do not do the same to others… take the time to be personal and build relationships!

When interacting with people, what questions do you like to ask?

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