August 26, 2015

The 3 Magic Letters that Deepen Relationships

red and white wave decorativeWe live in a world of 140 characters Tweets, text messages, and I’ve-only-got-time-for-a-minute-conversations. We skim the surface—a lot. We live like water skaters, insects that float on top of ponds with their four legs swept out as far as possible from their bodies. Skaters float on the water’s surface. Like them, in our text message world, we don’t dive deep or get our heads or hearts wet.

Yet, your world and work calls for deeper. To succeed, we need deeper relationships.

How can you get below the surface?

Ask, “Why?”

State, “Tell me more about that…”

Question, “How?”

Inquire, “That’s interesting. Say more about . . .”

You can use these to encourage the speaker to say more about any of number of things: why you’re here, why you support an organization, or what’s you’re days been like.

Listen to the reply. Be prepared to ask, “Why?” or the other questions again and listen once more. Listen for the thoughts behind the first thoughts and, eventually, the full reason. Ask to learn more.

You will not only learn more, counter-intuitively you’ll help your speaker to learn about him or herself. As they dive into themselves, they’ll take you along with them as their diving buddy.

Will this directly help you to earn more income? Not immediately. Over time, it will lead to making your more interesting, knowing more people, and the knowledge you need to help people achieve their deepest hopes. Asking why allows you to talk about the important.

Today ask someone, “Why?” Let me know how your dive goes.

For more answers, check out this Nonprofit  CEO Library.

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Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis provides customized advising and coaching around nonprofit strategy and board development. People leaders hire her to bring clarity to sticky situations, break through barriers that seem insurmountable, and align people for better futures. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.


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