The Secret to Asking Good Questions

Be curious.

You wouldn't think it's that easy, would you? Some people seem to have a magical skill when it comes to asking questions. They provoke your thinking, draw out your story, shape conversations. There is some skill here.

But all you really need is curiosity.

A curious person may lead the conversation into a dead end. The seven minute stall. These conversations are not magical. Being curious doesn't mean that you'll be charismatic or magnetic. Awkward people are awkward people, even if they're curious.

But curious people will push through the stall. They will keep asking questions. And they'll stumble onto a good question. Eventually.

A curious person may occasionally make you feel like you're being interrogated. I know I do this to people sometimes. We talk and talk and they realize that we've talked for an hour and they know nothing about me. Have you ever experienced this? This is curiosity at work.

When you're curious about people, they sense it. For most people, your curiosity communicates that you want them to share their story, that you'll listen, maybe even that you care. The questions you ask will be good questions, if you're truly curious, because you'll actually be interested in the answers.

A curious person may give you a headache. They may look at the world in a way that's a little askance. They may come at things from unusual angles. They may have thought about the think they're asking you about before they ask you about it. It may feel like they're inviting you into conversation you don't understand.

That's what curious people do. They ask questions to a lot of people. They explore. They pay attention. And they learn. Their questions have weight behind them. That's why curious people ask good questions.

So, here's the secret ...

If you want to learn how to ask better questions, you need to learn how to grow your curiosity. If you can become more curious, you'll automatically ask better questions.

So, here's the question ...

How do you become more curious?

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