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 Consulting guides executive directors and CEOs to generate the resources, boards, and support they need to make remarkable progress on their missions. As the award-winning thought-leader, advisor, and founding principal of Karen Eber Davis Consulting, Karen helps nonprofit leaders get answers, generate revenue, and grow their mission. Davis is known for her innovation and practicality based on her work with or visits to over 1,000 nonprofit organizations and her experience leading board and team events. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.