Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dating Lessons: Asking Questions

I am the Queen of Asking Questions.  

So I get told this often by clients, people I interview for positions either with my company or my clients companies, discussions I have with various contacts I make, vendors and strategic business partners I work with and do negotiations with, etc.  To me, it is a natural and normal thing to ask questions.  The only way you get information many times is to ask what isn't being said or doesn't appear to be obvious.  To inquire and obtain more information than what they put out on the cover.  To be able to get the full details of data that you need to make decisions appropriately.  To understand pieces to the puzzle that you can't figure out without more information.  I am used to doing this and many times am a part of special projects for clients because I am so effective at it.  I never knew how much of a unique characteristic this might be, until I have experienced more of the impact of my questioning recently through online dating.

But I guess for many people its hard.  Instead of learning to ask good questions, they just don't ask questions.  Or they don't like the responses that come from asking questions and the relationship challenges that come from that so they think it is easier to avoid it completely.

In order to be effective at dating, you have to know how to ask questions, in a way that isn't demanding.  Doesn't create an attitude of defensiveness.  Invites someone to open up and share to whatever degree they feel they can.  One that creates dialogue of ongoing communication.  In a manner that creates a connection.  

However, no matter your skill at asking questions, there is always more to learn about it.

In this 3 month experience I have had thus far in online dating, I have found some guys resent questions.  It doesn't matter how you ask them, they don't like them.  Some will just ask you back whatever questions you ask them.  Some just answer your questions without elaborating beyond the answer to your question.  Some don't ask you any questions.  Some guys absolutely love that you ask questions because it gives them something to talk about and helps them keep conversation going.  Some guys ask just as many questions as I ask.  Some guys are intrigued that you want to know all these things about them and love that you ask questions.

To me, I have found the basis of asking questions a critical part of the dating relationship.  It tells a lot about a person.  It tells information about how they think, what they think, the vocabulary they have with the words they choose, their body language and facial expressions (if you get to see this when you ask questions) in response to your questions, how much they are willing to be open and authentic in the response to the question, what information they are willing to share beyond what you asked, how much of a communicator they are, and more.  By asking questions, you learn a lot in a very short amount of time. 

In doing this process, it is very important for you to try to understand the personality style of the person you are asking the questions to if you want them to hear you.  You have to be in tune to them with a keen perception to break the ice and get past any barriers that they have or may have by your questions.  You have to assure them that no matter their response, you appreciate them being honest and open with you.  Your ability to not back down from your questions when its something you need to know, can be challenging and difficult, but is a requirement in order to build a connection.  Through all this questioning, you must be able to be loving in spite of their response or difficulty in communication.  This takes a skill.  

And this whole process is only improving my ability to be The Queen of Questions!

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