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Using Questions To Control Communication

Using Questions To Control Communication
Question

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    Through reading numerous books on communication and field testing hundreds of techniques, a few fundamental patterns have become very apparent to me. If you’ve ever been on a date, an interview, or a networking event, you may have noticed some of these social patterns as well.

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    Before getting involved in an interaction with someone, ask yourself a couple of questions:

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    1. How can you make a person feel important upon meeting them for the first time?
    2. How can you stand out, without knowing what they expect of you?

    By realizing that most people are very similar and possess some fundamental qualities by which you can appeal to them, you will be able to stand out and excel in your interactions. Remember, it never hurts to pay someone attention, a compliment, or to highlight their strong suits.

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    Questions are an amazing way to control communication. A properly placed question can showcase your intelligence, interest in the person, as well as direct the conversation towards your intended outcome. You could use this opportunity to gain rapport by appealing to the person’s ego.

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    Questions That Control Communication

    Starter Question (via Liz Strauss). Try these question if you’re unsure of where to begin:

    • What do you do when you’re not doing this?
    • What is important to you?

    Direct Questions. These are questions you ask based on some knowledge of the person. You use these to steer the conversation in the direction that you want. Some examples:

    • How is it that you are so passionate about this topic?
    • How could I accomplish what you have accomplished?
    • Where did you get such a lovely jacket?

    Follow Up Questions. These questions are the ones you use to dig deeper into the conversation.

    • Do you remember how you felt when that happened?
    • Can you elaborate a little bit on this topic?
    • Do you remember what was going on in your mind at that time?

    Some Tips

    • Appeal To All Senses. When interacting with someone, ask question that appeal to all their senses. This will make you more interesting and most importantly memorable.
    • Be Sincere, Be Interested. If you’re going to ask questions, it would help if you had a sincere interest in the person. Not being sincere and faking interest could very well be taken as an insult.
    • Pay Attention. If you’re interested in crafting brilliant follow up questions then this is a crucial step. Use what the person says, to steer the conversation deeper into whatever direction you like.
    • Ask Open Ended Questions. If you’re goal is to keep the person talking and open up to you, then ask questions that require more than just a yes or no answer.
    • Use It or Lose It. Don’t just read about these tips, go out there and try them right away. That’s the secret step between reading these articles and internalizing them.

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    Last Updated on January 18, 2019

    7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

    7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

    Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

    But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

    If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

    1. Limit the time you spend with them.

    First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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    In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

    Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

    2. Speak up for yourself.

    Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

    3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

    This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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    But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

    4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

    Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

    This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

    Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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    5. Change the subject.

    When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

    Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

    6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

    Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

    I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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    You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

    Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

    7. Leave them behind.

    Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

    If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

    That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

    You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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