This is an excerpt of a speech I gave recently. It highlights one important aspect that is missing in business and our lives …..
read on.What tool do you use in your life and business?
Well, imagine that you have to hammer a nail in the wall. That is easy right? You use a nail and ………. A chainsaw!
“What”? You say.
Yes that is the tool that has been given to you.
“What do you mean”? You say.
Well there is nothing wrong with a chainsaw. It is a perfectly good machine. It does what it is meant to do and that is to cut down trees, branches, etc. …. It is the tool that you have been given in the past.
“Well what has that got to do with hitting a nail in the wall?”
Well if you use this analogy in your business you will see that you may have been using the wrong tool all along. If you have been wondering why your business seems to be slowing down, stagnating or not attaining you expectations then it may be that you have not used the right tools to get your business to the next level.
I have used one of the most important tools to get a client of mine an extra $400k of turnover. How did I do this? I asked questions.
That’s right questions are far more powerful that telling people. If you use empowering questions like where do you think a market may exist outside your industry? This type of question gets the brain juices flowing and leads to more questions so that a clear image can be formed. These questions leave the other person with thoughts about solutions to problems and issues rather than getting his or her hackles up.
Disempowering questions would not work as they convey a negative aspect to them.
For example, why did you not finish the project? Has a clear accusatory tone to it and leaves the person squirming and uncomfortable.
Here a better question may have been “what has prevented you from completing the job?” this is clearly better as it allows the person to expand on why the job has not been completed. There may be extenuating circumstances that may have led to the incomplete project. It also gives the opportunity for feedback on a project.
Once you have used questions to ascertain where are going then it is vitally important to use the next important tool and that is communication. If you can clearly communicate what your vision and expectations are of a particular task to the right people, then you will have people who will be willing and able to complete that task.
So keep in mind that in order to get you business growing and making it a great place to work, then ask more questions of people rather than telling them what to do. In addition if you clearly communicate your expectations you will have the staff doing what is expected of them.
So what are you waiting for? Get out and ask more questions.