Ask Questions to make connections…

I delight in asking questions, because I love to learn about people and about anything. I am always amazed by the person who chooses to ask no questions when they meet a fellow human being.

I had two starkly contrasting encounters on the same day over the holiday period, meeting people I had not seen for some time. The first spent an hour telling me everything about their work and their life, encouraged by, hopefully, intelligent questions. The second also told me about their work and life but here was the key difference. They also took time to ask me about my work, my life, my plans for the year. We had a conversation and the result was that we came up with some exciting new ideas and thoughts which we may be able to work together with in the future.   I came away from meeting 1 feeling dissatisfied, and it was only after reflection that I realised my colleague had learned absolutely nothing about me.

The moral of this story, dear reader, is to remember that people like to talk and share their experiences – but you have to ask them and open them up to do so. If you both ask questions then you will both learn about common ideals and ideas for the future.

Over Christmas I was delighted to receive an email confirming that I had achieved a Diploma in Personal Performance Coaching with the Coaching Academy . I’ve done 134 coaching sessions during my 8 month course with 28 coaching clients. I have learned loads. I have always liked asking questions – now I hope I am better at asking the right question at the right time to help someone unlock what they need to move forward.

Some of my early clients are now coming to the end of their time with me – the norm seems to be 6 sessions over 3 months as we address work/life balance, or a major project which needs to be moved forward, or a creative/business “stuckness”. I look forward to supporting new clients by skype and facetime and in person (meaning they can be anywhere in the world which is fun). My three niche areas seem to be the creative industries, wellness and therapy practitioners, and small business managers/sole traders who come through my 4N Networking across East Anglia.   A rich mix.

Oh there’s another reason for asking questions when you meet someone – you can’t judge a book by its cover. Just because someone may be there in front of you as a partner or guest, unless you ask you will never know that this partner might be just the person you need to help you. Oh and do listen to the type of questions people ask – sometimes they may be just polite, but sometimes they will reveal a real understanding of the business in which you are working.

So, whenever I meet people I will continue to ask questions so I can hear about their world and life.   Do try to avoid meeting someone and just talking about yourself and your work for too long – you’ll be missing a trick.

Next weekend is Devoted and Disgruntled 10 at York Hall. I can’t wait to learn about the creative ambitions and frustrations of all those who take time to be in Open Space for some or all of the weekend . Whoever Comes are the Right People…by asking questions I will learn why a chance encounter with a new creative is exactly we need for our own creative development in 2015. I can’t wait.

Catch up with me in York Hall, or by email / phone etc if you’d like to learn about CGO Coaching …and my special new year 6-series offers.  Cheers and Happy New Year.  Chris




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