A Tip for Tuesday – 15 Questions to a Better Life

Anyone else read How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age?

Our most recent HMA Book Club did, and among the book’s many words of wisdom were questions – 15 questions, to be exact.

Fifteen questions that can help us all lead better lives!

Here is how.

I am a consummate over-sharer. I think by sharing each detail of my life, sometimes to the chagrin of my husband, I am forging unbreakable bonds with friends, client, bosses and co-workers.

But here is the thing – more than half of my stories are falling on deaf ears.

And, it isn’t the ears’ fault – it is mine.

The book asserts that in order to matter to others, we need to focus on what matters to them. Chances are my favorite reality show and upcoming cruise with the hubby are not high on others’ lists.

Instead, we should focus on only asking 15 meaningful questions each day, not counting basic questions to get our jobs and other chores done, of course:

  • The first five questions should be saved for only our family and closest of loved ones and should focus on learning their motivations, goals and feelings rather than daily tasks and dinner preferences
  • The second five questions should be saved for our co-workers and should focus on going beyond meaningless chitchat and superficial flattery to really learn about the people we spend 40-100 hours with in the office
  • The third five questions can be used in the digital space in the form of comments on blogs, questions on Facebook, et al

According to the book, sometimes we are simply trying to transmit too much to too many people. By focusing in on just 15 meaningful exchanges each day, we are maximizing our time with people in our immediate and social spaces.

We are also maximizing our own time.

There is a great story about all of the meetings President Johnson set when he first took office. One such meeting with a business leader ended at 5 p.m. – and President Johnson walked out the door with the leader. Stunned, the leader assumed the President would have hours upon hours of more work to do. When asked how he fits in so many meetings with so many people and still manages to leave the office at a decent hour, the President simply said something to the effect of “You would be surprised how many people you can meet if you are willing to simply listen rather than talk.”



Written by
at Feb 28, 2012

Share this article